International Space Station (Updates)


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Draggendrop

ISS Daily Summary Report – 06/01/16

 

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Bigelow Expandable Aerospace Module (BEAM) Vestibule Outfitting: BEAM successfully completed an 80 hour leak check this morning and the crew began activities to prepare the vestibule for BEAM ingress tentatively scheduled for Monday, June 6th. The crew removed the Node 3 Aft Negative Pressure Relief Valves (NPRV) and installed Inter Module Ventilation (IMV) Valves. During the activities it was discovered that the Node 3 Aft Starboard IMV Flexible Coupling was missing.  This coupling is needed to connect the ducting to the starboard IMV on the IMV return leg between BEAM and Node 3. The flex coupling is unique to this location and there are no spares on orbit or alternate locations from which to scavenge. Vestibule operations the rest of the week will continue as planned, however, this issue will likely need to be resolved prior to BEAM ingress. Teams are developing a workaround.

 

Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) P12B-A Remote Power Controller Module (RPCM) Remove & Replace (R&R): Last evening, ground controllers began operations to R&R RPCM P12B-A. RPC 16 that failed in 2012 and powers the P1 Lower Outboard Luminaire Heater. These operations will be performed over the course of 6 days and require the relocation of multiple RPCMs to utilize the RPCM that is currently in the P11A-A location as a donor to allow for a hot-mate at the P12B-A location. During last night’s operations, Cargo Transport Container 5 (CTC-5) was relocated from EXPRESS Logistics Carrier 3 (ELC-3) to the Enhanced ORU Temporary Platform (EOTP) and the CTC was opened. This set the team up to continue with this evenings operations to relocate a spare RPCM from the CTC and temp stow it in the currently unoccupied P11A-C location on the truss.

 

Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Sensor Calibration Status: Following yesterday’s unsuccessful attempt to perform an ARED sensor calibration, it was determined that the cause of the error message received by the crew was likely due to a corrupt file on the SSC. This particular SSC had issues last week that required a reload of the SSC. Ground teams will download the pertinent files in an attempt to confirm this theory. Operators will then remove all of the files and reload them to the SSC to correct the issue. A verification that the correct files have been successfully loaded to the SSC will be performed prior to rescheduling the ARED sensor calibration.

 

Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Return Grille Cleaning: The crew removed the return grille mesh cover and cleaned the inside return grilles in the JEM Pressurized Module (JPM) and the Japanese Experiment Logistics Module-Pressurized Section (JLP).

 

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Ground Activities

All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

CubeSat deploy
BEAM vestibule outfitting
Sprint VO2 support
RPCM R&R Robotics commanding
Nominal ground commanding
 

Three-Day Look Ahead:

Thursday, 06/02: OGS water ORU FSE swap, AUXIN sampling, CIR manifold bottle replace

Friday, 06/03: NORS tank swap, MSL sample exchange, CSA centrifuge setup and blood collect

Saturday, 06/04: Crew off duty, housekeeping

 

QUICK ISS Status – Environmental Control Group:

                              Component    Status
Elektron    On
Vozdukh    Manual
[СКВ] 1 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV1”)    On
[СКВ] 2 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV2”)    Off
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab    Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3    Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab    Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3    Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA)    Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA)    Standby
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab    Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3    Full Up

https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2016/06/01/iss-daily-summary-report-060116/

 

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BEAM Leak Checks While New Crew Preps for Launch

 

blog_jsc2016e062787.jpg

Expedition 48-49 crew members were in Star City, Russia, participating in final qualification exams inside a Soyuz simulator last week. From left are Takuya Onishi, Anatoly Ivanishin and Kate Rubins

 

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The week’s final set of CubeSats were deployed Wednesday night as the new BEAM goes through a series of leak checks before next week’s entry. Back inside the orbital lab, the six-member Expedition 47 crew conducted advanced space research sponsored by private and public institutions.

 

A final pair of CubeSats was deployed outside the Kibo lab module Wednesday wrapping up the week’s deployment activities. Since Monday, a total of 16 Dove satellites were released into orbit from a small satellite deployer attached to Kibo. The CubeSats will observe the Earth’s environment helping disaster relief efforts and improving agricultural yields.

 

The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) environment continues to be equalized with that of the rest of the International Space Station. Astronaut Jeff Williams is continuing to install components on the BEAM bulkhead and vestibule area before entering the new expandable module early next week.

 

The rest of the crew explored human research to improve astronaut health on long space journeys possibly benefitting humans on Earth too. Back on Earth, three new Expedition 48-49 crew members, Soyuz Commander Anatoly Ivanishin and Flight Engineers Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi, are in Russia counting down to a June 24 launch to the space station.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/06/02/beam-leak-checks-while-new-crew-preps-for-launch/

 

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Russia delays next Soyuz, Progress launches to ISS

 

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A Russian industry source said the launch of the Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft, previously scheduled for June 24, will be delayed to July 7 because of a “flaw” in the spacecraft’s control system that could cause the Soyuz to roll uncontrollably as it approaches the station.

 

The Soyuz will carry a crew of three people to the station. That delay, the report said, would push back the launch of a Progress cargo spacecraft from July 7 to July 17.

 

It’s not yet clear how the Soyuz delay would change plans to launch a Cygnus cargo mission, tentatively planned for early July, or a Dragon mission scheduled for July 16.

http://spacenews.com/russia-delays-next-soyuz-progress-launches-to-iss/

 

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One Carbon Metabolism on the Space Station

 

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It has been known for some time that time in space affects astronauts' vision. Post-flight vision changes have been reported by many astronauts after they spend time on the International Space Station. Many, but not all. But why are only certain people affected by spaceflight in this manner?' Results of a new study involving 49 space station astronauts may help crack this case. The research points to differences in the way some individuals' bodies operate at the cellular level which may influence whether they develop vision or eye issues in space.

 

The human body is complex. Intricate networks of chemical interactions within our cells convert basic nutrients from the foods we eat, into the molecules that keep us ticking. These chemical processes use specific pathways, called metabolic pathways, and are spurred by enzymes, each with its own job to do.

 

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In the one carbon pathway, enzymes help by pulling a single carbon atom from a folate or other carbon donor and attaching it to an amino acid, thus converting it to a different amino acid. If anything goes wrong - for example if this chain reaction doesn't work properly, slows down, or backs up, the effect is felt down the line. Higher blood concentration of homocysteine in affected astronauts was the first clue that this team found. This led to the study of genetic differences in one carbon enzymes.

 

Smith says, "We found two genetic variances in the enzymes that facilitate the one carbon pathway. This may help explain why some astronauts' vision is affected but not others." This represents the first time researchers have identified a genetic marker associated with a spaceflight medical issue. In fact this is also the first time that NASA has used human genetic data directly in an investigation.

 

Smith continues, "We found that in addition to genetics, this effect was also associated with B vitamin status. A missing piece of the puzzle, however, is while we have shown an association between genetics and vision; we still don't know the mechanism - or cause - of these effects. That's one of the keys to figuring out how to prevent or treat this in affected crewmembers."

 

This could be important on Earth, too, because differences in these same enzymes are associated with the occurrence of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and other medical issues. We are also performing research to identify similarities between characteristics of astronauts with vision issues and women with endocrine system disorders, specifically, polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS." This beginning research is needed to document a possible tie between astronauts with vision issues and women with PCOS.

more at the link...

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/One_Carbon_Metabolism_on_the_Space_Station_999.html

 

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Suez Canal
Egypt

3 days ago

 

suez-canal-web.jpg

Planet Labs Inc.

 

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The Suez Canal provides an access route between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, allowing ships to pass through the Isthmus of Suez rather than sail around Africa.

https://www.planet.com/gallery/suez-canal/

 

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Draggendrop

ISS Daily Summary Report – 06/02/16

 

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Autonomous Mission Operations (AMO): The crew successfully executed the first crew initiated run of the AMO experiment.  Using onboard AMO software, the crew completed the autonomous deactivation and activation of an EXPRESS Rack (ER7 at Lab P2).  While the ground team was monitoring via telemetry, this activity was completed entirely by crew and onboard software without ground personnel or ground commands. The overall purpose of the AMO investigation is to demonstrate on-board crew autonomy techniques for future deep-space human spaceflight missions.  Additionally, this was the first time an ISS payload rack was nominally deactivated, then reactivated by the crew without ground support.

 

Remote Power Controller Module (RPCM) P12B-A Remove & Replace (R&R): Overnight, ground controllers performed day 2 of the 6 day choreography to proceed with the P12B-A RPCM R&R to restore power to the P1 Lower Outboard Luminaire Heater. Over the course of the evening the team removed a spare RPCM from Cargo Transport Container 5 (CTC-5) and relocated it to the unoccupied P11A-C location on the truss. This evening, the team is continuing operations by relocating the P11A-A RPCM to the currently unoccupied P11A-D location and moving the spare RPCM that is now in the P11A-C location into the P11A-A slot. The RPCM that is currently in the P11A-A location is loaded with the firmware necessary to perform “hot-mate” operations and will eventually be used as the replacement for the current P12B-A RPCM.

During overnight operations, while preparing for an SPDM Arm 1 Joint Operator Commanded Auto Sequence (OCAS), the SPDM safed itself due to an SPDM 1 OTCM Electronics Unit (OEU) status switch interface failure. Operators were able to recover from the event and OTCM-1 was not required for the remainder of the day’s operations. OEU Diagnostics data was collected at the end of the operations and will be reviewed prior to the next time the OTCM-1 grippers are needed on Saturday to open the CTC lid following completion of the R&R.

 

Node 1 (N1) Vacuum Access Port (VAP) Modification: The crew is currently installing a VAP in Node 1 that will be connected to the Airlock Vent Relief Valve to provide vacuum capability for visiting vehicles berthed to Node 1 Nadir. The Vacuum Access Port Mod Kit consists of a Vacuum Access Port, vacuum hose, and IMV Duct installed in Node 1 and Airlock to support vacuum access through the Airlock Emergency Manual Pressure Equalization Valve (EMPEV). The crew is scheduled to complete the modifications required on the Node 1 side with Airlock modifications scheduled for tomorrow.

 

Oxygen Generation System (OGS) Water Orbital Replacement Unit (ORU) Flight Support Equipment (FSE) Swap: The crew swapped the water ORU FSE protective frame that contains a new replacement ORU to protect a removed, returning water ORU. The replacement water ORU will be put in an on-orbit cushion for protection until future installation.

 

OA-6 Trash Loading Status: The crew has completed approximately 44 hours of transfer. There are approximately 2 hours remaining to be completed, however, there is potential for bags to be added to trash loading that could increase time remaining.

 

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Ground Activities

All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

BEAM vestibule outfitting
RPCM R&R
Nominal ground commanding
 

Three-Day Look Ahead:

Friday, 06/03: NORS tank swap, MSL sample exchange, CSA centrifuge setup and blood collect

Saturday, 06/04: Crew off duty, housekeeping

Sunday, 06/05: Crew off duty

 

QUICK ISS Status – Environmental Control Group:

                              Component    Status
Elektron    On
Vozdukh    Manual
[СКВ] 1 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV1”)    On
[СКВ] 2 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV2”)    Off
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab    Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3    Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab    Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3    Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA)    Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA)    Standby
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab    Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3    Full Up

https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2016/06/02/iss-daily-summary-report-060216/

 

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Russia delays next Soyuz, Progress launches to ISS

 

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A Russian industry source said the launch of the Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft, previously scheduled for June 24, will be delayed to July 7 because of a “flaw” in the spacecraft’s control system that could cause the Soyuz to roll uncontrollably as it approaches the station.

 

The Soyuz will carry a crew of three people to the station. That delay, the report said, would push back the launch of a Progress cargo spacecraft from July 7 to July 17.

 

It’s not yet clear how the Soyuz delay would change plans to launch a Cygnus cargo mission, tentatively planned for early July, or a Dragon mission scheduled for July 16. [TASS]

http://spacenews.com/russia-delays-next-soyuz-progress-launches-to-iss/

 

But then this.....

 

Russian officials say no decision until Monday on Soyuz delay

 

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Reports Wednesday stated that the Soyuz MS-01 launch, scheduled for June 24, had been delayed to July 7 because of problems with the spacecraft’s control system.

 

On Thursday, though, sources said a decision on when to launch the spacecraft won’t be made until Monday, giving Soyuz manufacturer Energia time to correct the issue and avoid a delay.

 

However, the same report also claimed that a decision to delay the launch had already been made, and Monday’s meeting would be to only formally confirm it. [TASS]

http://spacenews.com/russian-officials-say-no-decision-until-monday-on-soyuz-delay/

 

We shall know soon.

 

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Science in Short: A Milestone in Human Research

 

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Lead Expedition Scientist Yuri Guinart-Ramirez presented the following research highlights at the 45 Soyuz Return/47 Soyuz Launch And Dock Stage Operations Readiness Review held on June 2.

 

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We know human spaceflight is entrenched with dangers and risk to our astronauts, from their vision and eye health, to their musculoskeletal system and immune system, among many other risks. Did you know that out of 36 long-duration crew members, there were 15 clinical cases detected with issues related to vision? In other words, 41.6% of long-duration crew members developed vision issues with various degrees of symptoms. That is a high percentage. Understanding these and the many other effects that microgravity has on the body is key for us to continue to venture beyond low-Earth orbit and be more successful on long-duration spaceflight. We want to go further into space, and so we must answer these fundamental medical issues and continue develop more effective countermeasures.

 

The good news is that we are getting a little closer.

 

The upcoming return of 45S will mark the completion of the in-flight portion for four NASA investigations in the Human Research category – Ocular Health, Cognition, Salivary Markers and Microbiome; and that is big milestone. Once the post-flight baseline data collection takes place, we will have completed the required number of subjects for these four investigations. It takes a long time to complete the number of subjects required for Human Research investigations – it’s usually years in the making – so this is a big milestone.

 

Cognition will help us understand how the physical changes related to spaceflight such as microgravity, stress, and lack of sleep can affect cognitive performance. The results can lead to more effective ways of measuring the effect on cognitive ability during long-duration spaceflight.

 

Salivary Markers and Microbiome are both searching for a better understanding of the effect of microgravity on the immune system. Salivary Markers – as the name hints, focuses on saliva. But why saliva? Because our saliva is amazing! Our saliva has antimicrobial enzymes and antibacterial properties that kill some bacteria, and that helps us remain healthy. Immune system dysregulation has been documented during and after spaceflight, but it is not known if these changes increase infection susceptibility or pose a significant health risk to crew members.

 

Salivary Markers is helping us understand that. Microbiome is assessing the immune system by studying the collection of microbes in the body and gut area that also help us stay healthy, and its interaction with its environment. Understanding that micro-universe of microbes, its balance needed to keep us healthy, and its interaction with the space station environment will also help us develop more effective countermeasures.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/ISS_Science_Blog/2016/06/02/science-in-short-a-milestone-in-human-research/

 

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Airbus, ESA to Launch Commercial External Space Station Platform

 

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International Space Station (Credit: NASA)

 

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TOULOUSE, France (Airbus Defence and Space PR) — Airbus Defence and Space, the world’s second largest space company, and the European Space Agency (ESA), agreed today to start a joint pilot project phase to prepare the operation and utilization of a new external payload platform on the European International Space Station (ISS) laboratory Columbus. ESA and Airbus Defence and Space signed the corresponding Memorandum of Understanding on June 2, 2016 at the ILA Airshow in Berlin (Germany).


The Bartolomeo platform is envisioned to be embedded into an end-to-end service designed to provide fast, cost-efficient and reliable access to the ISS for private and institutional users on commercial terms. The Bartolomeo all-in-one payload mission service is aimed at customers from areas including Earth observation, technology demonstrators, astro- and heliophysics, material science and new space flight applications.


“With Bartolomeo, we will provide a sustained commercial external payload hosting service on the ISS”, said François Auque, Head of Space Systems. “With this infrastructure, we intend to enlarge the user community, and offer them a broader range of solutions that meet their needs and that can be deployed rapidly.”


“Commercial partnership will play a growing role in the exciting ESA vision for space exploration”, said David Parker, ESA Director for Human and Robotic Exploration. “ESA intends to stimulate private sector engagement in space exploration and foster innovative and inspiring approaches for future ESA missions. Enhancing private sector capabilities and demand for ISS utilisation will open perspectives for commercial approaches for exploitation ISS and post-ISS infrastructures.”


This new space facility, named “Bartolomeo” after the younger brother of Christopher Columbus, will be attached to the outside of the European “Columbus” laboratory module in 2018, providing access to power and data resources for customer payloads.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/06/02/airbus-esa-launch-commercial-external-space-station-platform/#more-58563

 

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Desert Patterns
Saudi Arabia

4 days ago

 

desert-patterns-web.jpg

Planet Labs Inc.

 

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Ridges tower over the arid landscape of the Tabiq Reserve in Saudia Arabia.

https://www.planet.com/gallery/desert-patterns/

 

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DocM

Soyuz delayed to July 7. Details in the SpaceX Updates as it impacts CRS-9.

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Draggendrop

This Week at NASA: Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) and More

 

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Activities aboard the International Space Station during the first week in June included continued operations with the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) - which was fully expanded on May 28.

The follow-up work included equalizing BEAM's internal pressure and conducting leak checks to ensure its structural integrity. The BEAM is a technology demonstration to study expandable habitats in space. When it is safe to do so, NASA's Jeff Williams will open the hatch and be the first to enter the inflatable experimental habitat. At more than 13 feet long and about 10.5 feet in diameter, the module adds about 565 cubic feet of habitable volume to the station. Also, Zuckerberg Connects with ISS Crew, Antares Hot Fire Test, Next Space Station Crew, Low Boom Flight Demonstration, Mixed Reality Demonstration, and Planetary Stamps Unveiled.

http://spaceref.com/missions-and-programs/nasa/this-week-at-nasa-bigelow-expandable-activity-module-beam-and-more.html

 

Update on Space Station’s Expandable Module on This Week @NASA – June 3, 2016

video is 4:15 min.

 

 

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Cubesats Ready For Launch From ISS

 

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Cubesats awaiting launch               NASA

 

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Cubesats leaving the Japanese airlock ready for launch. Dove Cubesats deployment for Planet Labs constellation Flock 2.

http://spaceref.com/nasa-hack-space/cubesats-ready-for-launch-from-iss.html

 

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The Grand Canyon As Seen From Orbit

 

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Grand Canyon            NASA/ESA

 

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Tim Peake: Hard to appreciate from space that the Grand Canyon is over a mile deep.

http://spaceref.com/earth/the-grand-canyon-as-seen-from-orbit.html

 

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Kitanagoya
Japan

3 days ago

 

kitanagoya-japan-web.jpg

Planet Labs Inc.

 

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Canals, highways, train tracks, and bridges criss-cross the city of Kitanagoya, Japan.

https://www.planet.com/gallery/kitanagoya-japan/

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Draggendrop

BEAM Opens Up For Checks

 

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Astronaut Jeff Williams works inside the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module. Credit: NASA TV

 

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The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module’s (BEAM) hatch was opened up for the first time today. Astronaut Jeff Williams entered BEAM and checked sensors, installed air ducts and reported back to Earth that it was in pristine condition. After Williams completed the BEAM checks he exited and closed the hatch for the day.

 

The crew will enter BEAM a couple of more times through Wednesday to check sensors and gear. BEAM will stay attached to the International Space Station for two years of tests of its durability.

 

The rest of the Expedition 47 crew moved right along with human research studies benefiting astronauts in space and people on Earth. British astronaut Tim Peake explored how astronauts adapt to tasks requiring high concentration and detailed procedures. Williams later collected biological samples for stowage and analysis for the Multi-Omics experiment that is studying the immune system.

 

Commander Tim Peake and Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko are packing their Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft and getting ready for a June 18 departure. Peake will join the duo for the ride home after living in space for six months.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/06/06/beam-opens-up-for-checks/

 

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Software Problems delay Launch of next Space Station Crew

 

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The launch of the next trio of ISS crew members is being delayed two weeks from June 24 to July 7 due to software problems with the new Soyuz MS spacecraft, making its inaugural mission to the International Space Station.

 

Soyuz MS will bring Russia’s Anatoly Ivanishin, NASA’s Kate Rubins and JAXA’s Takuya Onishi to ISS for a half-year mission.

 

This is the first mission of the upgraded Soyuz MS spacecraft that features a number of changes, mainly focused on its navigation, control and communications systems. The MS series of spacecraft replace an old Kvant radio system with a Unified Command and Telemetry System and the new communications system of the spacecraft enables the use of Luch data relay satellites to allow mission control to communicate with the vehicle for the majority of its treks around the planet.

 

Soyuz MS employs Glonass/GPS for precise orbit determination and autonomous burn targeting while a new Proximity Communications Link with ISS will be available during the rendezvous sequence for the exchange of navigation data. A new KURS system reduces the number of antennas installed on the vehicle while enhancing the system’s capabilities when entering its close rendezvous phase. Other upgrades include more powerful solar cells, a modified thruster arrangement, a digital video system and new angular rate sensors.

http://spaceflight101.com/software-problems-delay-launch-of-next-space-station-crew/

 

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The Middle East As Seen From Orbit

 

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The Middle East        NASA/ESA

 

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Tim Peake: The rugged landscape of Sinai and the Syrian desert.

http://spaceref.com/earth/the-middle-east-as-seen-from-orbit-1.html

 

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Space Station View of Noctilucent Clouds

 

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Expedition 47 Flight Engineer Tim Peake of the European Space Agency photographed rare, high-altitude noctilucent or "night shining" clouds from the International Space Station on May 29, 2016.

 

Polar mesospheric clouds — also known as noctilucent clouds - form between 76 to 85 kilometers (47 to 53 miles) above the Earth’s surface, near the boundary of the mesosphere and thermosphere, a region known as the mesopause. At these altitudes, water vapor can freeze into clouds of ice crystals. When the sun is below the horizon and the ground is in darkness, these high clouds may still be illuminated, lending them their ethereal, "night shining" qualities.

 

In the late spring and summer, unusual clouds form high in the atmosphere above the polar regions of the world. As the lower atmosphere warms, the upper atmosphere gets cooler, and ice crystals form on meteor dust and other particles high in the sky. The result is noctilucent or “night-shining” clouds — electric blue wisps that grow on the edge of space. Polar mesospheric clouds can be observed from both the Earth’s surface and in orbit by astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/space-station-view-of-noctilucent-clouds

 

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Noctilucent Clouds       NASA/ESA

 

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Stargazing From the International Space Station

 

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Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) see the world at night on every orbit — that’s 16 times each crew day. An astronaut took this broad, short-lens photograph of Earth’s night lights while looking out over the remote reaches of the central equatorial Pacific Ocean.

 

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NASA/ESA

 

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/images/index.html?id=384515

 

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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 7 June 2016

 

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Astronaut Jeff Williams works inside the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module. Credit: NASA.

 

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The hatch to BEAM was opened up again today for the second day of outfitting the expandable module to determine its habitability and durability.

 

BEAM, or the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, is set to demonstrate the overall performance and capability of expandable habitats for the next two years. The crew is predicted to enter BEAM between 12 and 14 times during its stay.

 

Three Expedition 46-47 crew members are winding down a six-month mission at the International Space Station. Commander Tim Kopra, veteran cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and first-time British astronaut Tim Peake are packing their Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft before they undock June 18 for the 3.5 hour ride back to Earth.

 

The station will raise its orbit Wednesday morning to support the undocking as well as the arrival of the next crew on July 9. New Expedition 48-49 crew members Anatoly Ivanishin, Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi will launch July 7 aboard a new Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft for a two-day trip to their new home in space.

 

Inside the space station, the astronauts explored how future crews will communicate and perform as they travel farther out in space. Saliva samples were collected and stowed so scientists can analyze them to understand how microgravity affects a crew member's immune system.

 

The crew also photographed Earth's landmarks and studied the vibrations the station experiences during vehicle dockings, spacewalks and crew exercise.

 

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Urine Processor Assembly (UPA): The UPA was shut down today due to erratic conductivity of the urine distillate. High conductivity levels caused the UPA to reprocess for an extended period of time as the Wastewater Storage Assembly Tank (WSTA) was approaching full. The process run was terminated and the Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) has been configured to internal EDV. To expedite continued use of the UPA, the current concentration cycle will be ended early and both the Advanced Recycle Filter Tank Assembly (ARFTA) and the WSTA contents will be drained. WHC will then be configured back to UPA to attempt a clean process cycle.

 

Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Operations: Overnight, Robotics Ground Controllers powered up the Mobile Servicing System (MSS) and maneuvered the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) and Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) Arm 2 for rotating the Enhanced On-Orbit Replaceable Unit (ORU) / Tool Platform (EOTP) to its nominal stow position to stow the SPDM on Mobile Base System (MBS) Power Data Grapple Fixture 2 (PDGF2). Before grasping the EOTP drive fixture, checkouts of the Orbit Replaceable Unit (ORU) Tool Changeout Mechanism 2 (OTCM2) mechanisms (gripper, advancer, umbilical, torquer) were performed to assess potential impacts of the high loads event on Friday when trying to extract the P12B-A Remote Power Control Module (RPCM). Each mechanism passed the test and data is being reviewed by engineering teams.

 

Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Stowage Frame Installation Part 3: The crew continued assembly and installation of the JEM Stowage Frame. Once fully installed, the frame will increase JEM stowage capability by 12 Cargo Transfer Bag Equivalents (CTBE).

 

On-Board Training (OBT) Cygnus Departure: In preparation for OA-6 unberth and release planned for next Tuesday, June 14, the crew reviewed required departure steps.

 

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Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

BEAM operations
Nominal ground commanding

 

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Wednesday, 06/08: BEAM sensor install Parts C,D, COL VCR removal & SSD install, Sokol Suit leak check, surface sample collection
Thursday, 06/09: JEM stowage frame install/consolidation, ACDU remote controller install, MSL sample exchange
Friday, 06/10: Cygnus RoBOT OBT, ER5 locker removal/IPEHG install, CQ deck cleaning, SkinB

 

QUICK ISS Status - Environmental Control Group:
Component - Status
Elektron - On
Vozdukh - Manual
[СКВ] 1 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV1") - On
[СКВ] 2 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV2") - Off
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab - Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab - Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 - Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) - Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) - Shutdown
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab - Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 - Full Up

http://spaceref.com/international-space-station/nasa-international-space-station-on-orbit-status-7-june-2016.html

 

Monthly ISS Research Video Update for May 2016

video is 7:15 min.

 

 

 

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BEAM Closed as Crew Packs Spaceships for Departure

 

exp47_060816_blog-1.jpg

Astronaut Jeff Williams works inside the BEAM before closing its hatches. Credit: NASA TV

 

Quote

BEAM’s hatches have been closed completing crew operations for the month. Meanwhile, a pair of spaceships is also being packed for departure this month.

 

After three days of operations inside BEAM, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module has been outfitted with sensors and other hardware. The next crew entry into the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module is targeted for August for more checks. BEAM will be attached to the International Space Station for two years of performance and durability tests.

 

Orbital ATK’s Cygnus space freighter is due to be released from the Tranquility module June 14 having arrived March 26. The Canadarm2 will grapple and release Cygnus into space where it will remain in orbit for tests until June 22. Three Expedition 47 crew members are counting down to their departure June 18. They are packing the Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft that will return them to Earth after 186 days in space.

 

Today’s science activities included collecting air and breath samples for a bone marrow study. The crew also explored how astronauts adapt to detailed tasks requiring high concentration and also measured how lack of sleep in space affects cognitive performance.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/06/08/beam-closed-as-crew-packs-spaceships-for-departure/

 

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Companies Advance on Path to Flight in 2016

 

Quote

The companies building the next generation of human-rated spacecraft with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program made their biggest advances so far as they finalized designs and began building prototype spacecraft. The careful, meticulous efforts by Boeing and SpaceX, along with NASA astronauts, engineers and spaceflight specialists, are vital markers in the path to flight as the team work to restore America’s ability to launch astronauts to the International Space Station from the United States.

“We knew 2016 would be a critical year as Boeing and SpaceX build qualification and flight hardware, and test the integrated systems to ensure the rockets and spacecraft function as designed,” said Kathy Lueders, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. 

https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2016/06/08/companies-advance-on-path-to-flight-in-2016/

 

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Iceberg A56 Seen (Again) From Orbit

 

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Iceberg A56              ESA/NASA

 

Quote

ESA astronaut Tim Peake saw this iceberg from the International Space Station 400 km above Earth on 2 June 2016 during his six-month Principia mission. It is the same iceberg - called A56 - that he had photographed previously on 27 March.

 

Tim commented: "What are the odds - just passing the Cupola and spotted the same iceberg from over two months ago :)"

 

Iceberg A56 is almost 30 km long and likely extends as much as 250 m below the ocean surface.

 

Carried by the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and westerly winds, A56 is drifting about 25 km a day. Since Tim's last viewing A56 has travelled to the East into the South Atlantic Ocean.

 

Satellites, including Eumetsat's MetOp and the Copernicus Sentinel-1, are used to track icebergs so that ships can be warned of their position.

The International Space Station's orbit offers no clear view of Antarctica and pictures of large icebergs taken by an astronaut is a rare occurrence at these latitudes.

 

The Sentinel-1 mission, however, is designed for continuous monitoring of sea ice and icebergs in the polar regions. Its advanced radar provides images regardless of weather or darkness, making it a valuable tool for monitoring our environment and supporting ship navigation through these treacherous waters.

 

View the very same A56 iceberg as seen by Sentinel-1A's radar on 23 July 2015 in the image to the right.

 

Satellites, including Eumetsat's MetOp and the Copernicus Sentinel-1, are used to track icebergs so that ships can be warned of their position.

Since Tim's last viewing A56 has travelled roughly 850 km to the East into the South Atlantic Ocean.

 

The International Space Station's orbit offers no clear view of Antarctica and pictures of large tablular icebergs taken by an astronaut is a rare occurrence at these latitudes.

 

The Sentinel-1 mission, however, is designed for continuous monitoring of sea ice and icebergs in the polar regions. Its advanced radar provides images regardless of weather or darkness, making it a valuable tool for monitoring our environment and supporting ship navigation through these treacherous waters.

http://spaceref.com/antarctica-1/iceberg-a56-seen-again-from-orbit.html

 

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Milky Way Rising As Seen From The Space Station

 

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Milky Way              ESA/NASA

 

Quote

Tim Peake: Watching the Milky Way rising over the horizon Credits: ESA/NASA

http://spaceref.com/onorbit/milky-way-rising-as-seen-from-the-space-station.html

 

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High-Res Photos of Expanded BEAM Module & Historic Ingress

 

CkXFpxbUoAAuyOF.jpg-orig-1024x682.jpg

 NASA/ESA/Bigelow Aerospace

 

more at the link...

http://spaceflight101.com/high-res-photos-of-expanded-beam-module-historic-ingress/

 

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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 8 June 2016

 

nasa_iss_on_orbit_status_report_060816_9

The entrance to the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) is seen during sensor installation after successful expansion. NASA Astronaut Jeff Williams and the NASA and Bigelow Aerospace teams working at Mission Control Center at NASA's Johnson Space Center spent more than seven hours on operations to fill the BEAM with air to cause it to expand. BEAM is an example of NASA’s increased commitment to partnering with industry to enable the growth of the commercial use of space. The project is co-sponsored by NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems Division and Bigelow Aerospace. Credit: NASA.

 

Quote

BEAM's hatches have been closed completing crew operations for the month. Meanwhile, a pair of spaceships is also being packed for departure this month.

 

After three days of operations inside BEAM, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module has been outfitted with sensors and other hardware. The next crew entry into the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module is targeted for August for more checks. BEAM will be attached to the International Space Station for two years of performance and durability tests.

 

Orbital ATK's Cygnus space freighter is due to be released from the Tranquility module June 14 having arrived March 26. The Canadarm2 will grapple and release Cygnus into space where it will remain in orbit for tests until June 22. Three Expedition 47 crew members are counting down to their departure June 18. They are packing the Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft that will return them to Earth after 186 days in space.

 

Today's science activities included collecting air and breath samples for a bone marrow study. The crew also explored how astronauts adapt to detailed tasks requiring high concentration and also measured how lack of sleep in space affects cognitive performance.

 

Quote

Bigelow Expandable Aerospace Module (BEAM) Sensor Installation: Sensor installation Parts A and B were completed yesterday. Today the crew assembled and tested the Distributed Impact Detection System (DIDS) Kits C and D, then assembled and affixed Wireless Temperature system (WTS) Kits C and D. They also deployed six Radiation Area Monitors (RAMs) throughout BEAM and photo documented each deployment location.

 

ISS Reboost: At 9:00 AM CDT today, the ISS performed a reboost using 63P R&D thrusters which set up for 45S landing and 47S 34-orbit rendezvous. Delta-V was 0.45 meters/second with a burn duration of 3 minutes, 59 seconds.

 

Node 1/ Airlock VAP modification: The Node 1/ Airlock Vacuum Access Panel which was installed last week failed an 8 hour leak check overnight. The crew checked connections and the leak check is being repeated tonight.

 

Crew Departure Preparations: The 45S crew packed personal items to be returned, and trashed unwanted items in preparation for return to Earth on June 18. They also had a conference with Russian specialists.

 

Quote

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

BEAM operations
Nominal ground commanding

 

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Thursday, 06/09: JEM stowage frame install/consolidation, ACDU remote controller install, MSL sample exchange
Friday, 06/10: Cygnus RoBOT OBT, ER5 locker removal/IPEHG install, CQ deck cleaning, SkinB
Saturday, 06/11: Crew off duty, housekeeping

 

QUICK ISS Status - Environmental Control Group:
Component - Status
Elektron - On
Vozdukh - Manual
[СКВ] 1 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV1") - On
[СКВ] 2 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV2") - Off
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab - Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab - Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 - Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) - Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) - Standby
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab - Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 - Full Up

http://spaceref.com/international-space-station/nasa-international-space-station-on-orbit-status-8-june-2016.html

 

Space Station Live: Operating on Their Own

video is 6:01 min.

 

 

 

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Space Station completes Orbital Reboost for upcoming Visiting Vehicle Traffic

 

Quote

The International Space Station conducted an orbital reboost on Wednesday, slightly raising its orbit to fine-tune its trajectory as part of phasing for upcoming visiting vehicle operations.

 

The orbital reboost was carried out by the Progress MS-02 spacecraft currently docked to the aft end of the Space Station’s Service Module. Progress MS-02 ignited a subset of its DPO thrusters and completed its burn at 14:00 UTC for a burn duration of 238.6 seconds, raising the station’s velocity by 0.45 meters per second. As a result, the Station’s orbital altitude was raised by 800 meters, according to the Russian Mission Control Center.

 

The Space Station regularly completes reboost maneuvers to maintain its orbital altitude around 400 Kilometers, countering a gradual decline in orbital altitude due to drag in the outermost layers of Earth’s atmosphere. Reboost maneuvers are also used to set up phasing for visiting vehicle arrivals and departures, to create the orbital geometry needed for efficient rendezvous maneuvers.

Quote

Wednesday’s ISS reboost was part of a phasing campaign for three visiting vehicle moves on the Russian side of the Space Station. It set up phasing for the return of Soyuz TMA-19M, preparing the landing ground track for the vehicle that will bring Yuri Malenchenko, Tim Kopra and Tim Peake back to Earth on June 18 with touchdown in the Kazakh steppe planned at 9:12 UTC.

 

The maneuver also began preparing the Station’s trajectory for the launch of the Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft that was recently delayed to July 7. As the first flight of the new MS series of spacecraft, this mission will make use of the traditional 34-Orbit Rendezvous profile, docking to ISS two days after launch. Soyuz MS-01 will carry the Expedition 48/49 crew of Anatoly Ivanishin, Takuya Onishi and Kate Rubins, set for a half-year stay in space.

 

Next on the firing line after Soyuz MS will be the Progress MS-03 cargo spacecraft, currently looking at a July 17 launch date and aiming for a fast-track four-orbit rendezvous to make an express cargo delivery, flying only six hours from launch to docking.

http://spaceflight101.com/space-station-completes-orbital-reboost-for-upcoming-visiting-vehicle-traffic/

 

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NASA TV to Broadcast U.S. Cargo Ship Departure from Space Station

 

25634985304_d6c7f6ee35_o.jpg?itok=U3PBUH

The Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo ship is seen after final approach to the International Space Station. The vehicle was captured at 6:51 a.m. EDT March 26 using the space station's Canadarm2 robotic arm by Expedition 47 Commander Tim Kopra. The unmanned cargo craft was then bolted to the Earth-facing port on the Unity module at 10:52 a.m. Orbital ATK’s fifth cargo delivery flight under its Commercial Resupply Services contract delivered over 7,700 pounds of cargo and included equipment to support some 250 experiments during Expeditions 47 and 48.
Credits: NASA

 

Quote

After delivering almost 7,500 pounds of cargo to support dozens of science experiments from around the world, the Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo spacecraft is set to leave the International Space Station Tuesday, June 14. NASA Television will provide live coverage of Cygnus' departure beginning at 9 a.m. EDT.

 

Ground controllers will detach the Cygnus spacecraft, which arrived at the station March 26, from the Earth-facing side of the station's Unity module using the Canadarm2 robotic arm. Robotics controllers will maneuver Cygnus into place and Expedition 47 robotic arm operators Tim Kopra of NASA and Tim Peake of ESA (European Space Agency) will give the command for its 9:30 a.m. release.

 

Five hours after departure, the Saffire-I experiment will take place onboard the uncrewed cargo craft. Saffire-I provides a new way to study a realistic fire on a spacecraft. This hasn’t been possible in the past because the risks for performing such studies on crewed spacecraft are too high. Instruments on the returning Cygnus will measure flame growth, oxygen use and more. Results could determine microgravity flammability limits for several spacecraft materials, help to validate NASA’s material selection criteria, and help scientists understand how microgravity and limited oxygen affect flame size. The investigation is crucial for the safety of current and future space missions.

 

Cygnus also will release five LEMUR CubeSats from an external deployer June 15, part of a remote sensing satellite constellation that provides global ship tracking and weather monitoring. The vehicle will remain in orbit until Wednesday, June 22, when its engines will fire twice, pushing it into Earth's atmosphere where it will burn up over the Pacific Ocean. NASA TV will not provide a live broadcast of the Cygnus deorbit burn and re-entry.

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-tv-to-broadcast-us-cargo-ship-departure-from-space-station-0

 

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The Himalayas As Seen From Orbit

 

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The Himalayas             NASA

 

Quote

NASA Astronaut Jeff Williams captured this soaring mountain visa image and twitted "up to the amazing array of white peaks on the Himalaya Mountains"

http://spaceref.com/earth/the-himalayas-as-seen-from-orbit-3.html

 

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Beams of Light on a Golden Lake

 

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This stunning Earth image taken by the Expedition 47 crew on May 31, 2016, from the International Space Station looks from northwestern China on the bottom into eastern Kazakhstan. The large lake in Kazakhstan with golden sun glint is the crescent-shaped Lake Balkhash, the second largest lake in Central Asia. Lake Balkhash sits in the Balkhash-Alakol depression in southeastern Kazakhstan and stretches over 7,115 square miles (18,428 sq. km).

Image Credit: NASA

 

http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/beams-of-light-on-a-golden-lake

 

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Naples
Italy

3 days ago

 

naples-web.jpg

Planet Labs Inc.

 

Quote

Ships pass Nisida Island on their way to Naples’ historic port. The distinctive island is the sunken caldera of a volcano that erupted between 8,000 and 10,000 years ago.

https://www.planet.com/gallery/naples/

 

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Station Ramps Ups for Cygnus and Crew Departures

 

Quote

A pair of spaceships is getting ready to depart the International Space Station next week. The Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo craft will be released from the Unity module June 14. Three Expedition 47 crew members will depart June 18 returning to Earth after 186 days in space.

 

Astronauts Tim Kopra and Tim Peake will be at the controls of the Canadarm2 robotic arm when it releases Cygnus at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. Cygnus will orbit Earth for eight more days of scientific tests exploring how materials burn in space and the orbital dynamics of a destructive re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.

 

Kopra and Peake will then join crewmate Yuri Malenchenko for a ride home inside the Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft on June 18. The moment the trio undocks from the Rassvet module, Expedition 48 will officially begin with Williams as commander staying behind with Flight Engineers Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin.

 

As always, a wide variety science continues on the International Space Station to improve life on Earth and benefit crew members in space. Peake researched the cause of accelerated skin aging in space and studied plant hormones. Kopra drew a blood sample for stowage in a science freezer and later analysis.

 

Skripochka researched the radiation the station and its crew are exposed to internally and externally. Ovchinin explored plasma physics while Malenchenko and Skripochka partnered up for cardiovascular health studies.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/06/10/station-ramps-ups-for-cygnus-and-crew-departures/

 

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Tour the International Space Station in 3D

 

esa_iss_3d_tour_061016_945.jpg

Tour the International Space Station in 3D                    ESA

 

Quote

Put your 3D glasses on and take this narrated tour of the International Space Station. Visit all the modules of humankind's weightless laboratory orbiting Earth 400 km above.

http://spaceref.com/international-space-station/tour-the-international-space-station-in-3d.html

 

Narrated 3D tour of the International Space Station

video is 13:23 min.

Quote

Published on Jun 2, 2016
Put your 3D glasses on and take this narrated tour of the International Space Station. Visit all the modules of humankind’s weightless laboratory orbiting Earth 400 km above.

 

 

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Commercial Crew Gains Momentum from Manufacturing, Launch Facilities

 

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NASA Commercial Crew

 

Quote

Manufacturing bays and launch pads are scenes of careful activity midway through 2016 as Boeing and SpaceX, partners with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, build the prototype spacecraft that will precede assembly of the flight vehicles that will perform test flights. Both companies are building separate spacecraft and launch systems capable of carrying astronauts some 250 miles into space where they will perform groundbreaking research aboard the International Space Station. Boeing’s Starliner is being assembled at the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, while SpaceX is manufacturing its Crew Dragon spacecraft at the company’s headquarters and factory in Hawthorne, California.

 

Both companies are also hard at work modifying their respective launch pads. SpaceX is making numerous changes at Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy so the former shuttle launch pad can instead host Falcon 9 rockets lofting Crew Dragons into orbit. A couple of miles south, at the adjacent Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Crew Access Tower has been constructed at Space Launch Complex 41, so astronauts will be able to climb inside the Starliner on launch day as it stands pointed to the sky atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2016/06/10/commercial-crew-gains-momentum-from-manufacturing-launch-facilities/

 

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NASA's NICER mission arrives at Kennedy Space Center

 

nasasnicermi.jpg

NICER Mechanical Engineer Steven Kenyon (left) and GPS and Star Tracker Camera Engineer Eric Rogstad (right) prepare NICER for shipment to Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The payload will be deployed on the International Space Station (ISS) in early 2017. Credit: Barbara Lambert

 

 

Quote

An upcoming NASA astrophysics mission will uncover the physics governing the ultra-dense interiors of neutron stars. Using the same platform, the mission will demonstrate trailblazing space navigation technology.


The multipurpose Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) mission arrived at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Wednesday, June 8. The forthcoming International Space Station (ISS) payload was transported from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, aboard a climate-controlled, air-suspension truck.


A neutron star begins its life as a star approximately 10 times the mass of the sun. When its nuclear fuel is exhausted, the star's outer layers explode in a supernova. Crushed by its own gravity, the star's core collapses and forms a neutron star. These collapsed stellar corpses are the densest, most strongly magnetic and most rapidly spinning objects known in the universe.


Neutron stars, which squeeze up to twice the sun's mass into a city-size volume, are powerfully bound by gravity that is exceeded only around black holes. Theory has advanced a host of models to describe the physics of neutron star interiors, including the very nature of high-density matter that cannot be produced in any laboratory on Earth. NICER's astrophysical observations will test these models.


Some rapidly rotating neutron stars, called pulsars, are cosmic lighthouses that sweep narrow beams of radiation through space as they spin. Pulsars can spin up to hundreds of times every second, producing flashes of light from radio through gamma rays detected at Earth with clock-like regularity. NICER will exploit these pulsations to perform cutting-edge astrophysics investigations while another aspect of the mission - the Station Explorer for X-ray Timing and Navigation Technology (SEXTANT) project - demonstrates a technological first: real-time, autonomous spacecraft navigation using pulsars as beacons, ultimately furthering deep space exploration into the solar system and beyond.

 

2-nasasnicermi.jpg

A view of the NICER X-ray Timing Instrument without its protective blanketing shows a collection of 56 close-packed sunshades -- the white and black cylinders in the foreground -- that protect the X-ray optics (not visible here), as well as some of the 56 X-ray detector enclosures, on the gold-colored plate, onto which X-rays from the sky are focused. Credit: Keith Gendreau

 

Quote

NICER will operate from the ExPRESS Logistics Carrier 2 on the ISS after launch, extraction from the transfer vehicle and installation. NICER is planned for launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida aboard the SpaceX-11 ISS Commercial Resupply Services flight, currently scheduled for February 2017. The baseline mission lifetime is 18 months. The NICER team anticipates initial science results by late summer 2017.

http://phys.org/news/2016-06-nasa-nicer-mission-kennedy-space.html

 

http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/new-mission-studying-neutron-stars-on-track-for-launch

 

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Noctilucent Clouds See From The Space Station

 

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Noctilucent Clouds               ESA/NASA

 

Quote

Tim Peake: We're seeing some rare high altitude noctilucent clouds just now - hope for some better pics next week.
Credits: ESA/NASA

http://spaceref.com/onorbit/noctilucent-clouds-see-from-the-space-station.html

 

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ISS Daily Summary Report – 06/13/16

 

Quote

Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) Fastener Coating and Configuration Change: The CBEF Micro-G configuration was changed to support the Mouse Epigenetics experiment and the fasteners inside the CBEF were coated with material to prevent corrosion. The CBEF is a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) subrack facility located in the Saibo (living cell) Experiment Rack. It  is used in various life science experiments, such as cultivating cells and plants in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) and consists of an incubator and control equipment for control and communications.

 

Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Airlock (JEMAL) Exposed Experiment Handrail Attachment Mechanism (ExHAM) #1-2 Operations: Robotics Ground Controllers used the JEM Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS) Small Fine Arm (SFA) to retrieve ExHAM #1-2. ExHAM #1-2 is the first return and sample exchange mission of the 1-year exposed ExHAM#1, and currently contains 17 samples, 14 of which will be returned on SpX-9. ExHAM is a cuboid mechanism equipped with a fixture on the upper surface for grappling by the JEMRMS SFA and has components on the under surface for attaching the ExHAM to the handrail on the Exposed Facility.

 

ReEntry Breakup Recorder – Wireless (REBR-W) OA-6 Activation and Installation: The crew activated and installed the REBR-W, remote sensor units 1 – 4 and the acoustic sensor. REBR is a cost-effective system that rides a re-entering space vehicle, records data during the re-entry and breakup of the vehicle, and returns the data for analysis. Understanding how vehicles behave during atmospheric reentry gives future spacecraft developers unique information that can enhance design efficiencies and safety.

 

Environmental Health System (EHS) Microbial Air and Surface Sampling: The crew took surface and air samples for microbial analysis using the Microbial Air Sampler (MAS) with Petri Dishes. The EHS monitors the atmosphere for gaseous contaminants (i.e., from nonmetallic materials off-gassing, combustion products, and propellants), microbial contaminants (i.e., from crewmembers and Station activities), water quality, acoustics, and radiation levels.

 

Cygnus Departure Prep: In preparation for Cygnus unberth and departure, the crew installed the Air Revitalization System (ARS), de-routed the Intermodule Ventilation (IMV) duct, removed handrails and completed radial port closeout and closed the hatch. They installed N1 Nadir Control Panel Assembly (CPA) and configured Cygnus/N1 vestibule for de-mate. They also relocated the Portable Computer System and cables from the N2 Utility Outlet Panel (UOP) to the Cupola UOP which will provide command redundancy during departure operations. Unberth is scheduled for tomorrow at 6:30AM CDT with release at 8:30 CDT.

 

Water Processor Assembly (WPA) Process Fault and Waste Water Quantity Tank Decrease – Last night the WPA shut down due to an internal fault.  The previous ocurrence of this fault was recovered with a WPA power cycle.  During data review following the fault, an unrelated and unexpected drop in the waste water quantity was found.  WPA remained in standby overnight.  This morning ground teams determined that the waste water quantity drop is consistent with air in the system.  Following a crew-actuated purge, ground controllers will command WPA back to process following the next Urine Processor Assembly (UPA) process run tonight.

 

Quote

Ground Activities

All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

Cygnus departure prep
CQ deck cleaning
ExHAM retrieval
Nominal ground commanding
 

Three-Day Look Ahead:

Tuesday, 06/14: Cygnus departure, OGS internal ACTEX R&R, crew departure prep

Wednesday, 06/15: EVA loop scrub/water conductivity test, 45S transfer, RAM retrieve, crew departure prep, Soyuz OBT

Thursday, 06/16: JEM stowage wire kit install, Emergency R&R review, Neuro Mapping

 

QUICK ISS Status – Environmental Control Group:

                              Component    Status
Elektron    On
Vozdukh    Manual
[СКВ] 1 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV1”)    On
[СКВ] 2 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV2”)    Off
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab    Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3    Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab    Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3    Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA)    Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA)    Standby
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab    Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3    Full Up

https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2016/06/13/iss-daily-summary-report-061316/

 

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Cygnus Leaves Station Tuesday Morning

 

blog_iss047e021820.jpg

The Cygnus spacecraft is pictured arriving at the station March 26. The tip of the Canadarm2 that captured Cygnus moments later is at top right.

 

Quote

NASA Television will provide live coverage of the departure of Orbital ATK’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft from the International Space Station beginning at 9 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, June 14. Release from the space station’s Canadarm2 is scheduled for 9:30 a.m.

 

About five hours after departure, the Saffire-I experiment will take place onboard the uncrewed cargo craft. Saffire-I provides a new way to study a realistic fire on a spacecraft. This hasn’t been possible in the past because the risks for performing such studies on crewed spacecraft are too high. Instruments on the returning Cygnus will measure flame growth, oxygen use and more. Results could determine microgravity flammability limits for several spacecraft materials, help to validate NASA’s material selection criteria, and help scientists understand how microgravity and limited oxygen affect flame size. The investigation is crucial for the safety of current and future space missions.

 

Watch the departure live on NASA TV or at: http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/06/13/cygnus-leaves-station-tuesday-morning/

 

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Cygnus set to depart ISS for Week-Long Free Flight & In-Space Fire Experiment

 

Saffire2-512x460.png

SAFFIRE Experiment Facility – Image: NASA

 

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The Saffire-I combustion experiment will be conducted five hours after Cygnus departs ISS. This is the first ever experiment to ignite a large-scale fire in space to study a realistic fire on a space vehicle, looking at flame growth, temperatures and oxygen use to assess how microgravity and limited oxygen affect the properties of a fire. Data from SAFFIRE will be used to improve fire safety on future crewed spacecraft and help NASA in choosing materials for future vehicles.

 

The SAFFIRE experiment package consists of a flow duct and an adjacent avionics bay housing various sensors and associated power and data systems. Atop the flow duct is a fan creating air flow through the system and on the bottom is a grid serving as a flow straightener. The SAFFIRE I and III experiments will use a 40-centimeter wide and 94 centimeter long sample of 75% cotton and 25% fiberglass blend burned at two different flow speeds. SAFFIRE II tests nine different materials.

 

The data collected during the combustion experiment will be downlinked to the ground over a period of days, requiring Cygnus to remain in orbit for another week.

http://spaceflight101.com/cygnus-oa-6-set-for-departure/

 

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International Space Station Calendar

 

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Date Event

June 14, 2016Cygnus OA-6 Unberthing, Release

June 18, 2016Soyuz TMA-19M Undocking & Landing (Malenchenko, Kopra, Peake)

June 22, 2016Cygnus OA-6 De-Orbit

July 1, 2016Progress MS Undocking – Re-Docking Test

July 5, 2016Progress MS Undocking from Pirs

July 6, 2016Cygnus OA-5 Launch atop Antares 230

July 7, 2016Soyuz MS Launch (Ivanishin, Onishi, Rubins)

July 9, 2016Soyuz MS Docking to Rassvet

July 2016Cygnus OA-5 Rendezvous & Berthing to Unity

July 15, 2016Progress MS Undocking from Pirs

July 17, 2016Progress MS-03 Launch atop Soyuz 2-1A & Docking to Pirs

July 19, 2016Progress MS-03 Docking to Pirs

August 1, 2016Dragon SpX-9 Launch atop Falcon 9

http://spaceflight101.com/iss/iss-calendar/

 

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NASA Honors Orlando Victims

 

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NASA

 

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The American flag flies at half staff at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with the iconic Vehicle Assembly Building in the background. 

 

On Sunday, June 12, 2016, President Barack Obama ordered U.S. flags flown at half staff “as a mark of respect for the victims of the act of hatred and terror” at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, about 50 miles west of the NASA center. 

 

Image Credit: NASA

http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/nasa-honors-orlando-victims

 

 

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Russian, US Astronauts to Return From ISS on June 18

 

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Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and two colleagues will return to Earth on June 18 after 186 days on board the International Space Station (ISS) the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced in a press release.

 

Malenchenko will be joined on the return flight by NASA's Timothy Kopra and the European Space Agency's Timothy Peake.

 

"[The astronauts'] return will wrap up 186 days in space for the crew since their launch in December 2015," NASA stated on Friday. "Together, the Expedition 47 crew members contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard humanity's only orbiting laboratory."

 

They will leave behind two Russian cosmonauts, Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin, and NASA's Jeff Williams. The broadcast on NASA TV will be available on the agency's webpage.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Russian_US_Astronauts_to_Return_From_ISS_on_June_18_999.html

 

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US, Russian Astronauts Enter ISS Deep Space Habitat for First Time

 

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US astronaut Jeff Williams and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka entered the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) habitat on board the International Space Station (ISS) for the first time, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said in a statement on Monday.

 

"Along with Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka, [US astronaut Jeff] Williams entered BEAM for the first time to collect an air sample and begin downloading data from sensors on the dynamics of BEAM's expansion," NASA stated.

 

Williams told NASA Mission Control that the habit looked "pristine" and was cold, but also noted that there was no evidence of condensation inside the module.

 

BEAM is designed to take up less space on a rocket than a traditional space habitat. During a two-year mission, astronauts will test how it performs and protects against solar radiation, space debris and extreme temperatures.

 

BEAM launched on April 8 on board a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft and was attached to the ISS about a week later.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Russian_US_Astronauts_to_Return_From_ISS_on_June_18_999.html

 

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Robotic Arm Releases Cygnus Before Fire Experiment Starts

 

cygnus_release2.jpg

The Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft departs the International Space Station after its release from the Canadarm2. Credit: NASA TV

 

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Expedition 47 robotic arm operator Tim Kopra of NASA commanded the International Space Station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm to release the Cygnus spacecraft at 9:30 a.m. EDT while the space station was flying above Paraguay. Earlier, ground controllers detached Cygnus from the station and maneuvered it into place for its departure.

 

After Cygnus is a safe distance away, ground controllers at Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio will initiate the sequence for Saffire-1, and controllers at Orbital ATK in Dulles, Virginia, will activate the experiment.  Cygnus will continue to orbit Earth for up to eight days as it transmits hi-resolution imagery and data from the Saffire experiment. Following complete data transmission, the Cygnus spacecraft will complete its destructive entry into the Earth’s atmosphere on June 22. NASA TV will not provide a live broadcast of the Saffire experiment or the Cygnus deorbit burn and re-entry, but imagery from Saffire will be posted on NASA.gov as it becomes available.

 

The Cygnus resupply craft launched March 22 on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, for the company’s fifth NASA-contracted commercial resupply mission.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/06/14/robotic-arm-releases-cygnus-before-fire-experiment-starts/

 

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Playing with Fire – Largest Man-Made Fire in Space to be Ignited aboard orbiting Cygnus Spacecraft

 

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The Cygnus OA-6 spacecraft departed the International Space Station on Tuesday after an 80-day stay, heading into a second mission phase dedicated to an unprecedented in-space fire experiment involving the largest man-made fire ever to be lit in space.

 

SAFFIRE-I, the first Spacecraft Fire Experiment, will intentionally light a large-scale fire inside the Cygnus spacecraft after its departure of ISS, a few days before it re-enters Earth’s atmosphere. Only very few experiments were run to study combustion and fire processes in microgravity, let alone large-scale fire progression within a spacecraft.

 

Previous combustion studies conducted in space involved fires the size of a small index card. The three-part SAFFIRE study will set fire to samples as large than a hand towel. Two of the SAFFIRE Experiments examine flame spread in larger samples while one experiment run will test different materials to assess their flammability and self extinguishing properties in the space environment.

Watch how the Saffire experiment will be conducted in space.

video is 1:39 min

 

http://spaceflight101.com/saffire-i-combustion-experiment/

 

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Fire in the Hole – A Look at previous In-Space Fire Experiments

 

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Here is a look at previous fire experiments performed in space.

candle_comparison-1024x725.jpg

Two candle flame images taken as part of the Burning and Suppression of Solids experiment aboard ISS with air flow from bottom to top, compared with how a flame appears on Earth. – Credit: NASA

 

3151466_orig-1024x680.jpg

Solid Fuel Burning in Microgravity – Credit: NASA

 

FLEX-22-1024x577.jpg

Liquid Droplet Burning in Space – Credit: NASA

 

more at the link...

http://spaceflight101.com/iss-previous-combustion-studies/

 

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Orbital ATK Cygnus OA-6 "SS Rick Husband" Release and Departure (time lapse)

video is 1:39 min.

 

 

 

 

ISS - OA-6 Cygnus release timelapse - setting the stage for Saffire experiment 4x

video is 8:51 min.

 

 

 

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Nazca Lines, Peru 2016-06-08

 

nazca-lines-full.jpg

The enormous Nazca Lines are etched into the arid coastal desert in southern Peru. The region’s consistently rain-free climate, has preserved this UNESCO World Heritage Site for an estimated 1,500 years.  Credit Planet

 

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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 14 June 2016

 

nasa_iss_on_orbit_status_report_061416_9

Expedition 47 robotic arm operator astronaut Tim Kopra of NASA commanded the International Space Station's Canadarm2 robotic arm to release the Cygnus spacecraft at 9:30 a.m. EDT June 14, 2016 while the space station was flying above Paraguay. Earlier, ground controllers detached Cygnus from the station and maneuvered it into place for its departure. After Cygnus is a safe distance away, ground controllers at Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio will initiate the sequence for Saffire-1, and controllers at Orbital ATK in Dulles, Virginia, will activate the experiment. Cygnus will continue to orbit Earth for up to eight days as it transmits hi-resolution imagery and data from the Saffire experiment. Credit: NASA.

 

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Expedition 47 robotic arm operator Tim Kopra of NASA commanded the International Space Station's Canadarm2 robotic arm to release the Cygnus spacecraft at 9:30 a.m. EDT while the space station was flying above Paraguay. Earlier, ground controllers detached Cygnus from the station and maneuvered it into place for its departure.

 

After Cygnus is a safe distance away, ground controllers at Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio will initiate the sequence for Saffire-1, and controllers at Orbital ATK in Dulles, Virginia, will activate the experiment. Cygnus will continue to orbit Earth for up to eight days as it transmits hi-resolution imagery and data from the Saffire experiment. Following complete data transmission, the Cygnus spacecraft will complete its destructive entry into the Earth's atmosphere on June 22. NASA TV will not provide a live broadcast of the Saffire experiment or the Cygnus deorbit burn and re-entry, but imagery from Saffire will be posted on NASA.gov as it becomes available.

 

The Cygnus resupply craft launched March 22 on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, for the company's fifth NASA-contracted commercial resupply mission.

 

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Microbiome: The crew collected several samples from various physical surfaces before stowing the samples in MELFI (Minus Eighty-degree Freezer for ISS). Microbiome investigates the impact of space travel on both the human immune system and an individual's microbiome (the collection of microbes that live in and on the human body at any given time).

 

Manufacturing Device Print Removal: The crew removed and stowed a recently printed 3D object and cleaned the extruder print nozzle. The Manufacturing Device hardware consists of a single EXPRESS locker equivalent which houses a 3D printer and associated hardware.

 

Microgravity Experiment Research Locker Incubator (MERLIN) Desiccant Kit Removal: Eight desiccant packs were removed and discarded from inside MERLIN and the MERLIN door was partially opened for a 24-hour dryout period. The MERLIN provides a single middeck locker-sized Expedite the Processing of Experiments to Space Station (EXPRESS) Rack compatible freezer/refrigerator or incubator that can be used for a variety of experiments.

 

External robotics operations: Robotics ground controllers unberthed Cygnus from the Node 1 Nadir (N1N) Common Berthing Mechanism (CBM) and manuevered it to the release position using the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS). The ISS crew then released the vehicle and backed the SSRMS away. Following Cygnus departure, ground controllers maneuvered the SSRMS to a park position. They then de-configured the MSS from Hot Backup and supported a video survey of the N1N CBM.

 

Urine Processor Assembly (UPA) High Conductivity Fault - This morning UPA faulted due to high conductivity. This is the first process cycle since UPA was shut down due to erratic conductivity of the urine distillate. UPA was recovered and is currently processing.

 

Node 3 Forward Hatch Handle Guide Install - Today the crew completed the Node 3 Forward hatch handle guide installation.

Oxygen Generator System (OGS) Recirculation Loop Sample and Activated Carbon/Ion Exchange (ACTEX) Cartridge Replacement - The crew performed sample draws of the OGS recirculation loop for return and replaced the ACTEX cartridge. The loop sample is performed every 180 days, and the ACTEX cartridge is changed out every 730 days.

 

Quote

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

Cygnus unberth operations
Nominal ground commanding

 

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Wednesday, 06/15: EVA loop scrub/water conductivity test, 45S transfer, RAM retrieve, crew departure prep, Soyuz OBT
Thursday, 06/16: JEM stowage wire kit install, Emergency R&R review, Neuro Mapping
Friday, 06/17: Change of Command, Handhold Experiment Platform attach, MSL sample cartridge exchange

 

QUICK ISS Status - Environmental Control Group:
Component - Status
------------------
Elektron - On
Vozdukh - Manual
[СКВ] 1 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV1") - On
[СКВ] 2 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV2") - Off
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab - Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab - Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 - Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) - Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) - Process
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab - Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 - Full Up

http://spaceref.com/international-space-station/nasa-international-space-station-on-orbit-status-14-june-2016.html

 

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Space Station's Commercial 3D Printer Makes Its 1st Tool (Photos)

 

iss-3d-printer-wrench-1.jpg?interpolatio

The Additive Manufacturing Facility, a commercial 3D printer aboard the International Space Station, printed this wrench (its first tool) in June 2016.
Credit: NASA/Made In Space/Lowe's

 

 

iss-3d-printer-wrench-2.jpg?1465929799?i

The wrench 3D-printed by the Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF) aboard the International Space Station has the name of toolmaker Kobalt emblazoned on its side — the result of a partnership between Made In Space, which built the AMF, and home-improvement store Lowe’s.
Credit: NASA/Made In Space/Lowe's
 

//Yes, please keep the windows closed...space mosquitos...(sign at top of image)

 

 

Quote

The first commercial 3D printer in space is up and running.

 

The machine, known as the Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF), was installed aboard the International Space Station (ISS) in late April. And last week, it printed out its first tool — a wrench that astronauts can use to do maintenance work aboard the orbiting lab.

 

The wrench was made with a special off-Earth feature — a fastening clip that should help astronauts keep track of the tool in zero g.

 

The AMF was built by California-based company Made In Space, which also constructed the only other 3D printer ever sent to space.

 

That first one made it to the orbiting lab in September 2014, as part of a NASA-funded project designed to test how 3D printing works in space.

 

NASA sees a bright future for the technology, which space agency officials have said could help make spaceflight cheaper and voyaging spaceships more self-sufficient.

 

Everything went well with the trial run, so Made In Space proceeded with the AMF, which is a fully operational commercial machine owned by the company (as opposed to the technology-demonstration version, which NASA bought).

 

The AMF "can be accessed by any Earth-bound customer for job-specific work, like a machine shop in space. Example use cases include a medical device company prototyping space-optimized designs, or a satellite manufacturer testing new deployable geometries, or creating tools for ISS crew members," Made In Space representatives wrote in a blog post after the AMF's installation. 

 

As of late April, the AMF had about six months' worth of printing activities already lined up, Made In Space representatives added.

Made In Space is partnering with the home-improvement store Lowe's on AMF, as the newly printed tool demonstrates: It has the name of tool-making company Kobalt emblazoned on its side.

 

The wrench "demonstrates the capability of the AMF to manufacture purpose-specific tools and hardware on demand," Jenny Popis, manager of corporate public relations at Lowe's, told Space.com via email.

 

"Astronauts and researchers can get creative and print items they need within the size constraints of the printer bed, which is 10 cm x 14 cm x 10 cm [3.9 by 5.5 by 3.9 inches]," she added.

http://www.space.com/33166-space-station-commercial-3d-printer-first-tool-photos.html

 

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Crew Tests Soyuz as Fire Science Takes Place in Cygnus

 

blog_iss047e152844.jpg

The Cygnus spacecraft is seen departing the station after its release from the Canadarm2 Tuesday morning.

 

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A pair of Expedition 47 crew members tested the motion control system of the docked Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft. Soyuz Commander Yuri Malenchenko and astronauts Tim Kopra and Tim Peake will ride the Soyuz back to Earth early Saturday morning. They will undock from the Rassvet module then land in Kazakhstan ending a 186-day mission in space.

 

The trio continued packing the Soyuz and training for Saturday morning’s descent. The crew will experience strong jolts, heaviness and labored breathing and speech as they re-enter Earth’s atmosphere and begin experiencing gravity.

 

After Cygnus departed safely away from the International Space Station on Tuesday scientists from NASA’s Glenn Research Center sparked a large fire inside the space freighter. The Saffire-1 experiment is exploring how fire behaves in microgravity so engineers can design safer spacecraft.

 

NASA astronaut Jeff Williams worked on two U.S. spacesuits ahead of a pair of spacewalks targeted for later this summer. He sampled the cooling loop water then scrubbed the cooling loops inside the spacesuits.

 

Flight Engineer Oleg Skripochka continued transferring cargo in the Progress 63 resupply ship. His fellow cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin worked on the Plasma Kristall experiment exploring how micro-particles become highly charged and interact in plasmas.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/06/15/crew-tests-soyuz-as-fire-science-takes-place-in-cygnus/

 

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Record-Breaking Fire Experiment Blazes on Private Cargo Spaceship

 

nasa-saffire-1-cygnus.jpg?interpolation=

The Saffire-1 hardware is shown strapped into the pressurized cargo module of Orbital ATK's robotic Cygnus spacecraft.
Credit: NASA/Orbital ATK
 

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The biggest space-fire experiment ever conducted is now in the books.

 

NASA successfully ignited a piece of cotton-fiberglass cloth 1.3 feet wide by 3.3 feet long (0.4 by 1 meter) Tuesday afternoon (June 14) during the first stage of the Spacecraft Fire Experiment, or Saffire-1. Before Saffire-1, the largest fire set intentionally in space had burned a sample just the size of an index card, NASA officials have said.

 

Saffire-1 took place aboard the uncrewed Cygnus spacecraft, a cargo vessel built by Virginia-based company Orbital ATK, which had departed from the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday morning after a nearly three-month stay at the orbiting lab.

 

"Our #Saffire experiment traveled 1,000 miles in space while burning on #Cygnus," officials at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Ohio, where Saffire was conceived and developed, said via Twitter Tuesday.

 

#Saffire hardware worked as expected today. Researchers examine sensor data tonight and will share images tomorrow," Glenn officials added in another tweet.

 

More data and high-resolution photos from the experiment will continue to be relayed from Cygnus back to controllers on the ground over the next week, NASA officials said. The freighter is scheduled to burn up intentionally in Earth's atmosphere on June 22.

http://www.space.com/33173-nasa-fire-in-space-experiment-saffire.html

 

 

 

 

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Lake Nam, Tibet As Seen From Orbit

 

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Lake Nam           NASA/ESA

 

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Tim Peake: Stunning colours. Sunlight reflecting the stunning colours of Himalayan Lake Name (Namtso)

Namtso or Lake Nam (officially: Nam Co; Mongolian: Tenger nuur; "Heavenly Lake"; in European literature: "Tengri-Nor", 3042N 9033E - གནམ་མཚོ་) is a mountain lake on the border between Damxung County of Lhasa prefecture-level city and Baingoin County of Nagqu Prefecture in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, approximately 112 kilometres (70 mi) NNW of Lhasa.

Credits: ESA/NASA

http://spaceref.com/earth/lake-nam-tibet-as-seen-from-orbit.html

 

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Space Subcommittee Hearing - Human Spaceflight Ethics and Obligations: Options for Monitoring, Diagnosing, and Treating Former Astronauts

 

 

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Date: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - 2:00pm
Location: 2318 Rayburn House Office Building
Subcommittees: 
Subcommittee on Space (114th Congress)

 

Human Spaceflight Ethics and Obligations: Options for Monitoring, Diagnosing, and Treating Former Astronauts

Quote

Witnesses
Dr. Richard Williams
Chief Health and Medical Officer, NASA

Captain Chris Cassidy
United States Navy (USN); Chief, Astronaut Office, NASA

Captain Scott Kelly (USN, Ret.)
Former Astronaut, NASA

Captain Michael Lopez-Alegria (USN, Ret)
President, Association of Space Explorers-USA; Former Astronaut, NASA

Dr. Jeffrey Kahn
Professor of Bioethics and Public Policy, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics; Chairman, Committee on the Ethics Principles and Guidelines for Health Standards for Long Duration and Exploration Spaceflights, Board on Health Sciences Policy, National Academies of Sciences 

114th Congress

https://science.house.gov/legislation/hearings/space-subcommittee-hearing-human-spaceflight-ethics-and-obligations-options

 

When I get more info, I'll post, should be interesting for problem/type issues.

 

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Volga Delta Lakes, Russia 2016-06-14

 

volga-delta-lakes-full.jpg

Stagnant lakes stretch east-west across the upper reaches of the Volga River Delta. The lakes are trapped by sandy mounds, left behind after the Caspian Sea’s level rose then fell in the wake of the last Ice Age.   Credit Planet

 

https://www.planet.com/gallery/2016-06-14-volga-delta-lakes/

 

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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 15 June 2016

 

nasa_iss_on_orbit_status_report_061516_9

The full crew of Expedition 47 aboard the International Space Station. ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Timothy Peake (bottom left), NASA astronaut Timothy Kopra (bottom middle) and Roscosmos cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko (bottom row right) are set to depart the International Space Station and return to Earth June 18, 2016. Russian cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka (top left) and NASA astronaut Jeff Williams (top row middle) and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin (top right) will stay on as crew members for the next Expedition 48. Credit: NASA.

 

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A pair of Expedition 47 crew members tested the motion control system of the docked Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft. Soyuz Commander Yuri Malenchenko and astronauts Tim Kopra and Tim Peake will ride the Soyuz back to Earth early Saturday morning. They will undock from the Rassvet module then land in Kazakhstan ending a 186-day mission in space.

 

The trio continued packing the Soyuz and training for Saturday morning's descent. The crew will experience strong jolts, heaviness and labored breathing and speech as they re-enter Earth's atmosphere and begin experiencing gravity.

 

After Cygnus departed safely away from the International Space Station on Tuesday scientists from NASA's Glenn Research Center sparked a large fire inside the space freighter. The Saffire-1 experiment is exploring how fire behaves in microgravity so engineers can design safer spacecraft.

 

NASA astronaut Jeff Williams worked on two U.S. spacesuits ahead of a pair of spacewalks targeted for later this summer. He sampled the cooling loop water then scrubbed the cooling loops inside the spacesuits.

 

Flight Engineer Oleg Skripochka continued transferring cargo in the Progress 63 resupply ship. His fellow cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin worked on the Plasma Kristall experiment exploring how micro-particles become highly charged and interact in plasmas.

 

Quote

Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cooling Loop Maintenance: The crew completed ionic and particulate filtration (scrubbing) and biocidal maintenance (iodination) of EMUs 3003 and 3010 and Airlock cooling water loops. These activities are part of nominal 90-day maintenance requirements.

 

Urine Processor Assembly (UPA) and Water Processor Assembly (WPA) Status: Overnight both UPA and WPA completed their process cycles and the Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) was configured to UPA. UPA conductivity was still elevated and oscillating during the first part of the run before it was able to stay in process consistently. Teams are reviewing data from the runs.

 

45 Soyuz (45S) Undock Preparations: The 45S crew performed descent training in preparation for 45S undock and landing this Saturday. 45S performed a nominal thruster test in preparation for departure.

 

Quote

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

EMU operations
Nominal ground commanding

 

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Thursday, 06/16: JEM stowage wire kit install, Emergency R&R review, Neuro Mapping
Friday, 06/17: Change of Command, Handhold Experiment Platform attach, MSL sample cartridge exchange
Saturday, 06/18: 45S undock/landing

 

QUICK ISS Status - Environmental Control Group:
Component - Status
Elektron - On
Vozdukh - Manual
[СКВ] 1 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV1") - Off
[СКВ] 2 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV2") - On
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab - Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab - Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 - Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) - Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) - Standby
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab - Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 - Full Up

http://spaceref.com/international-space-station/nasa-international-space-station-on-orbit-status-15-june-2016.html

 

Space Station Live: 3-D Printing of a Student Design

video is 8:25 min.

 

 

 

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Astronauts Swap Station Command Friday Morning

 

Quote

Three Expedition 47 crew members are preparing to go home early Saturday morning. Three other station residents will stay behind beginning Expedition 48 on the International Space Station.

 

Veteran cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko will command the Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft that will take him and astronauts Tim Kopra and Tim Peake back to Earth. The trio are due to land Saturday at 5:14 a.m. EDT in Kazakhstan completing 186 days in space. NASA TV will cover the undocking and landing activities beginning Friday at 10:15 p.m.

 

Before Expedition 47 says goodbye, Commander Tim Kopra will hand over the station command to Flight Engineer Jeff Williams. The traditional Change of Command ceremony will take place Friday at 9:15 a.m. and be televised live on NASA TV.

 

Expedition 48 will officially begin the moment the Soyuz spacecraft carrying the Expedition 47 crew undocks from the Rassvet module. Williams and cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin will continue station operations awaiting a new trio of crew members due to launch July 7 and arrive two days later.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/06/16/astronauts-swap-station-command-friday-morning/

 

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Witnesses Argue Government Has Ethical Obligation for Lifetime Astronaut Medical Care--And Needs Data, Too

 

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Three current and former astronauts, NASA's Chief Medical Officer and a medical ethicist told a congressional committee today that the U.S. Government has an ethical obligation to provide lifetime medical care to people who fly into space as part of a NASA program.  In addition, the data NASA could obtain by following individuals after they leave the astronaut corps would be invaluable in determining how to protect the health of current and future astronauts.

 

Three men who have made multiple journeys into space provided the astronaut viewpoint:  Chris Cassidy, current head of the NASA astronaut office at Johnson Space Center (JSC); Michael Lopez-Alegria, who until recently held the U.S. record for the longest continuous spaceflight (215 days) and still holds the record for the most spacewalks (10), currently President of the U.S. chapter of the Association of Space Explorers; and Scott Kelly, who just broke Lopez-Alegria's continuous spaceflight record by remaining in space for 340 days.  Lopez-Alegria and Kelly are both retired from NASA now.  All three are current or retired military officers as well.

 

Military personnel have lifetime medical coverage under the TRICARE program through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and civilian government retirees may have coverage through the Department of Labor's Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA).   NASA also has a voluntary Lifetime Surveillance of Astronaut Health (LSAH) program for former astronauts.

 

Collectively they do not cover all former astronauts (such as those who leave NASA's astronaut corps before retirement or payload specialists who were never government employees) nor do they systematically collect data about former astronauts as they access medical care.  The LSAH program is voluntary and only about 60 percent of former astronauts take advantage of it.  It provides health status evaluations and former astronauts must travel to JSC to take part.  If a medical condition is uncovered, NASA currently is authorized just to encourage the former astronaut to follow up with his or her personal health care provider, not to provide diagnosis or treatment.

more at the link...

http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/witnesses-argue-government-has-ethical-obligation-for-lifelong-astronaut-medical-care

 

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Space Travel Has 'Permanent Effects,' Astronaut Scott Kelly Says

 

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Astronaut Scott Kelly, who spent 340 days aboard the International Space Station, said that being in space appears to have "permanent" effects that aren't fully understood.

 

“The environment astronauts are exposed to while in space is unlike anything we experience here on earth. Specifically, astronauts are exposed to high levels of radiation and carbon monoxide, and a micro-gravity environment which causes loss of bone and muscle, vision impairment and effects on our immune system to name a just a few,” he wrote in his prepared remarks to the House Science, Space and Technology committee. “These are very real issues that need to be solved before the human race is able to reach destinations beyond the Earth and the Moon.”

"Exposure to the space environment has permanent effects we simply do not fully understand," he added.

 

The NASA project that Kelly was a part of aimed to observe the long-term effects of spaceflight on the human body. Kelly, as well as his identical twin brother, Mark Kelly, underwent medical tests—with Mark Kelly acting as the control subject on Earth.

 

Scott Kelly, who had previously undergone a 159–day mission to the International Space Station in 2010 and 2011, said he was surprised at how differently he felt compared upon return this time around.

 

Due to the absence of gravity, Kelly’s skin “did not touch anything for nearly a year,” and because of this it was “extremely sensitive and became inflamed.”

 

“I developed a hive-like rash on every surface of my skin that came in contact with ordinary surfaces on Earth during normal activities like sitting or lying in bed.”

 

In addition, the astronaut explained that his legs were swollen “due to the shift of gravity forced upon my body,” and that he developed flu-like symptoms that he believes were due to his extended time in space.

 

Despite effects he has experienced since his arrival back to Earth, Kelly expressed his honor to play a part in future space pioneer’s missions, as well as his belief of the need for continued spaceflight and exploration to ensure the “success and development of our nation and species.”

 

“We are on the cusp of a new space age,” he said. “One in which greater numbers of Americans will travel to space and go further than ever before.”

http://abcnews.go.com/US/space-travel-permanent-effects-astronaut-scott-kelly/story?id=39884104

 

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NASA Glenn Successfully Ignites Largest Fire Experiment in Space

 

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Engineers at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio and Orbital ATK in Dulles, Virginia successfully conducted the first remote Spacecraft Fire Experiment, or Saffire I, carried inside an Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo vehicle that departed the International Space Station on Tuesday, June 14.  The experiment’s purpose is to learn how a fire might behave in a spacecraft after leaving Earth’s atmosphere. Understanding how fire spreads in a microgravity environment is critical to the safety of astronauts who live and work in space as NASA prepares for long duration missions on the journey to Mars.

 

“The first of our planned three Saffire experiments operated as designed which is a great credit to all the people at NASA who played a role in its development,” said Gary A. Ruff, NASA’s Spacecraft Fire Safety Demonstration Project manager.  “The success of this experiment opens the door to future large combustion experiments in the microgravity environment and directly supports the development of technologies and materials that will make deep space exploration spacecraft safer.”

 

Launched to the space station in an Orbital ATK Cygnus resupply cargo vehicle on March 22, Saffire remained in Cygnus for 81 days as supplies were offloaded by the station’s crew.  After the supplies were offloaded and replaced with space station trash, Cygnus departed.  Cygnus was then maneuvered a safe distance from the space station before the experiment began.

 

The Saffire experiment took place in a 3-foot by 3-foot by 5-foot tall module equipped to characterize and document the burning of a sample material approximately 16 inches wide and 37 inches long.  Images and data captured from inside the module will be transmitted to Orbital ATK and relayed to Glenn over a period of up to eight days prior to Cygnus’ destructive reentry to Earth.  Researchers at Glenn and 10 other U.S. and international government agencies and universities will analyze the data in the coming weeks.

 

Two subsequent flight experiments consist of Saffire-II, which will assess oxygen flammability limits using samples that are 2 inches wide and 12 inches long; and Saffire-III, which will assess a second large-scale microgravity fire.  Each module will be flown aboard an Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo vehicle during a resupply mission to the space station.

http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-glenn-successfully-ignites-largest-fire-experiment-in-space

 

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Coal Mines, West Virginia, USA 2016-06-15

 

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These Planet Labs images show mining activity between April and June 2016 at the Laxare East Surface and Black Castle Contour Surface coal mines in the mountains of West Virginia.

After

coal-mines-20160609-full.jpg

Planet

 

Before

coal-mines-20160424-compare-full.jpg

Planet

 

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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 16 June 2016

 

nasa_iss_on_orbit_status_report_061616_9

This Earth observation image of the southern Mediterranean area was taken by the crew of Expedition 47 aboard the International Space Station. The image looks from the coastline of Greece (bottom left) across the Ionian sea to the bottom "heel" of Italy. The tip of the toe reaches toward Sicily. Credit: NASA.

 

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Three Expedition 47 crew members are preparing to go home early Saturday morning. Three other station residents will stay behind beginning Expedition 48 on the International Space Station.

 

Veteran cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko will command the Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft that will take him and astronauts Tim Kopra and Tim Peake back to Earth. The trio are due to land Saturday at 5:14 a.m. EDT in Kazakhstan completing 186 days in space. NASA TV will cover the undocking and landing activities beginning Friday at 10:15 p.m.

 

Before Expedition 47 says goodbye, Commander Tim Kopra will hand over the station command to Flight Engineer Jeff Williams. The traditional Change of Command ceremony will take place Friday at 9:15 a.m. and be televised live on NASA TV.

 

Expedition 48 will officially begin the moment the Soyuz spacecraft carrying the Expedition 47 crew undocks from the Rassvet module. Williams and cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin will continue station operations awaiting a new trio of crew members due to launch July 7 and arrive two days later.

 

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Packed Bed Reactor Experiment (PBRE) Water Release Inspection and Lab Video Setup: The crew inspected and cleaned the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) Work Volume (WV) for water released from the PBRE vent hose. They also set up video camcorder for over-the-shoulder view of the MSG high definition (HD) monitor for the ground to view the water separator. The PBRE is used to study the behavior of gases and liquids when they flow simultaneously through a column filled with fixed porous media. The porous media or "packing" can be made of different shapes and materials and are used widely in chemical engineering as a means to enhance the contact between two immiscible fluid phases (e.g., liquid-gas, water-oil, etc.).

 

External TV Camera Group (ETVCG) Bulb Remove & Replace (R&R): The crew R&Rd the primary light bulb in the ETVCG Light that was brought inside on EVA 28 in preparation for an upcoming EVA. During checkout post R&R, it was found that the electrical leads were connected to the wrong sockets, which upon power-up, created a short. The 6A fuse in the Maintenance Work Area (MWA) power strip failed due to the overcurrent from the short and was replaced, however, it was still unsuccessful. The crew replaced the MWA power strip with a spare unit and the light successfully powered up. Teams are continuing to investigate.

 

Water Mist Portable Fire Extinguishers (PFE) Deploy: The crew successfully deployed six Water Mist PFEs and attached the cue cards on the exterior of the Portable Emergency Provisions (PEP) lockers. This completes deployment of the Water Mist PFEs.

 

Emergency Roles & Responsibilities Review: In preparation for 3-crew operations, the 46S crew reviewed responsibilities in an emergency situation. Some topics covered were Commander responsibilities, crew accountability, accessing the escape vehicle and communication and coordination not only with each other but ground teams as well.

 

Portable Emergency Provisions (PEPS) Inspection: The crew completed this regularly scheduled maintenance to verify that Portable Fire Extinguishers (PFE), Portable Breathing Apparatus (PBA) and Pre-Breathe masks are free of damage, are functional and ready for use.

 

Quote

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

AMO support
Nominal ground commanding

 

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Friday, 06/17: Change of Command, Handhold Experiment Platform attach, MSL sample cartridge exchange
Saturday, 06/18: 45S undock/landing
Sunday, 06/19: Crew off duty

 

QUICK ISS Status - Environmental Control Group:
Component - Status
Elektron - On
Vozdukh - Manual
[СКВ] 1 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV1") - Off
[СКВ] 2 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV2") - On
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab - Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab - Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 - Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) - Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) - Standby
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab - Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 - Full Up

http://spaceref.com/international-space-station/nasa-international-space-station-on-orbit-status-16-june-2016.html

 

'Home' - 4K Views from Space

video is 2:40 min.

 

 

 

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NASA Astronauts Swap Station Command

 

commandchange.jpg

Expedition 47 Commander Tim Kopra (front center) swapped station command with Flight Engineer Jeff Williams (front left). Credit: NASA TV

 

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At 9:20 a.m. EDT, NASA astronaut Jeff Williams assumed command of the International Space Station from astronaut Tim Kopra of NASA in a traditional Change of Command ceremony. Expedition 48 will officially begin under Williams’ command when the Soyuz spacecraft carrying Kopra, Tim Peake of ESA (European Space Agency) and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko undocks from the space station early Saturday morning.

 

Their return will mark the end of 186 days on board the station for the trio.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/06/17/nasa-astronauts-swap-station-command/

 

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Three station fliers set for Saturday return to Earth

 

23139395992_9a68a52a2a_k.jpg

Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko will fly in the center seat on the Soyuz TMA-19M capsule. In this image, he is flanked by Tim Peake (left) and Tim Kopra (right). Credit: NASA/GCTC

 

Quote

Three space station crew members made final preparations Friday for undocking and landing in Kazakhstan early Saturday to close out a 186-day stay in orbit.

 

Soyuz TMA-19M commander Yuri Malenchenko, NASA flight engineer Timothy Kopra and British astronaut Timothy Peake plan to undock from the International Space Station’s Earth-facing Rassvet module at 1:52 a.m. EDT (GMT-4) Saturday to begin the three-and-a-half hour return to Earth.

 

Left behind aboard the space station will be Expedition 48 commander Jeffrey Williams and Russian cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka, who arrived at the lab complex aboard the Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft on March 18.

 

They’ll have the station to themselves until July 9 when three fresh crew members — Anatoly Ivanishin, Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins arrive aboard the Soyuz MS-01 ferry ship.

 

During a brief change-of-command ceremony Friday morning, Kopra, commander of Expedition 47, turned the station over to Williams, saying “it’s been a tremendous honor to serve with this crew. I can’t think of a better group of people to spend time with in space and to work with. I’m very, very grateful for that opportunity.”

http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/06/17/three-station-fliers-set-for-saturday-return-to-earth/

 

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NASA Administrator Bolden Addresses ESA Council

 

//Address for ESA's ISS participation extension vote, due December2016. The US, Russia, JAXA and Canada are already on board.

 

Quote

NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden Jr addressed the ESA Council yesterday at the end of the session. This was an opportunity for him to share with Council Delegates information about NASA's priorities, future direction and touch upon matters relevant to the ESA Council meeting at ministerial level in December, in particular NASA's expectation that ESA will be able to commit to the extension of the International Space Station until 2024, as all other partner agencies have already done. Read the full transcript.

Transcript at the link...

http://spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=49003

 

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Jurua River, Brazil As Seen From Orbit

 

oo27077464004.jpg

Jurua River, Brazil                 ESA/NASA

 

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Tim Peake: The unmistakable lush green vista of the Amazon rainforest Credits: ESA/NASA

http://spaceref.com/earth/jurua-river-brazil-as-seen-from-orbit.html

 

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Soyuz TMA-19M to return to Earth

 

Quote

On April 29, 2016, Roskosmos announced that the landing of the Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft had been postponed from June 5 to June 18, 2016, "to increase the efficiency of cosmonauts' work." The same crew members who rode the ship into orbit in December 2015 will be onboard during the return to Earth: Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, the Soyuz commander; NASA astronaut Timothy Kopra and a European astronaut Timothy Peak.

 

The undocking of Soyuz TMA-19M from the MIM1 module on the Russian segment of the ISS was scheduled for June 18, 2016, at 08:52:30 Moscow Time (1:52 a.m. EDT), during the ship's 2,893rd revolution around the planet. At the same time, the station will be making its 100,516th orbit.

 

The undocking command would be sent to the docking mechanism on the Soyuz a minute and a half before the physical separation between the outpost and the transport ship.

 

After three minutes in solo flight, Soyuz TMA-19M is scheduled to fire its attitude control thrusters at 08:55:30 Moscow Time (1:55 a.m. EDT) to increase its distance from the ISS. A similar maneuver would be conducted one minute 20 seconds later, at 08:56:50 Moscow Time (1:56 a.m. EDT) on June 18.

 

On the same day, at 11:22:07 Moscow Time (4:22 a.m. EDT), the spacecraft will fire its main engine against the direction of the flight for nearly five minutes, initiating a braking maneuver and the descent into the Earth's atmosphere. Around 23 minutes later, as the spacecraft descends to an altitude of 139 kilometers above the Earth's surface, the habitation module and the instrument section will separate from the descent module carrying the crew.

 

The descent module of the Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft is scheduled to touch down 148 kilometers southeast from the town of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan at 12:15:06 Moscow Time (5:15 a.m. EDT) on June 18, 2016. The landing time will be nine hours 50 minutes after local sunrise at 02:25 Moscow Time and six hours seven minutes before local sunset at 18:22 Moscow Time.

tma19m_landing_chart_1.jpg

 

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/iss-soyuz-tma19m.html#landing

 

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Soyuz Trio departs Space Station, en-route to Parachute Landing in Kazakhstan

 

tma-19m-landing-11-512x385.jpg

Photo: NASA TV

 

Quote

Three spacemen swapped the relative comforts of the International Space Station for their confined Soyuz capsule to parachute back to Earth Saturday morning, aiming for a landing in the Kazakh steppe.

 

Strapped into the ‘cozy’ Entry Module of the Soyuz are commander Yuri Malenchenko, one of the most experienced space fliers in history making his fifth Soyuz landing, NASA’s Tim Kopra, returning from his second long-duration stint on ISS, and the UK’s Major Tim Peake, the first British national to visit the International Space Station in a widely watched mission.

 

The Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft pushed off from its Rassvet docking port at 05:52 UTC and fired its engines twice to move away from the International Space Station, opening a 12-Kilometer gap before re-lighting its main engine for the deorbit burn. Hitting the brakes at 8:22 UTC, Soyuz will set itself on a course taking it into the dense layers of the atmosphere for a blazing re-entry. Emerging from the plasma of re-entry, Soyuz will open its parachutes and touch down at 9:14 UTC, cushioned by the firing of its soft landing engines.

http://spaceflight101.com/soyuz-tma-19m-undocking/

 

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Soyuz parachutes to Safe Landing – Space Station Crew returns after 186 Days in Orbit

 

blog_NHQ201606180001.jpg

Photo: NASA/Bill Ingalls

 

Quote

Three space travelers safely returned to Earth Saturday morning, parachuting into the steppes of Kazakhstan to mark their homecoming after half a year in orbit, circling the Earth 2,976 times.

 

Quote

Soyuz hit the brakes at 8:22 UTC when its main engine ignited and successfully dropped the spacecraft out of orbit, heading for a blazing re-entry. Separated from the Orbital and Service Modules, the small Entry Module began feeling the heat when diving into the dense atmosphere. Pulling up for four Gs on their way down, the three crew members received a thorough shaking when the capsule deployed its parachutes to slow down for touchdown.

 

Soyuz made an on-target landing at 9:15 UTC, cushioning its impact by firing Soft Landing Thrusters that kicked up a cloud of dust to signal the crew’s arrival on Terra Firma. All three crew members appeared to be in good physical condition when being helped out of their spacecraft – now set to part ways to begin their post-flight experiment operations.

 

27467090540_af69af79b9_o-512x330.jpg

Photo: NASA/Bill Ingalls

 

tma-19m-landing-17-512x391.jpg

Photo: NASA TV

 

27132492714_83950a440b_o-512x341.jpg

Photo: NASA/Bill Ingalls

 

tma-19m-landing-36-1024x256.jpg

Photo: NASA TV / Spaceflight101

 

tma-19m-landing-35-512x389.jpg

Photo: NASA

 

http://spaceflight101.com/soyuz-tma-19m-landing/

 

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Expedition 47 Crew Leaves the Space Station

video is 7:09 min.

 

 

 

 

[ISS] British Astronaut Tim Peake & Crew Touchdown back on Earth

video is 10:10 min.

 

 

 

 

[ISS] Tim Peake & Crew Exit Soyuz TMA-19M after Touchdown

video is 21:07 min.

 

 

 

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ISS Calendar

 

Quote

June 22, 2016    Cygnus OA-6 De-Orbit
July 1, 2016    Progress MS Undocking – Re-Docking Test
July 5, 2016    Progress MS Undocking from Pirs
July 6, 2016    Cygnus OA-5 Launch atop Antares 230

July 2016    Cygnus OA-5 Rendezvous & Berthing to Unity
July 7, 2016    Soyuz MS Launch (Ivanishin, Onishi, Rubins)
July 9, 2016    Soyuz MS Docking to Rassvet

July 15, 2016    Progress MS Undocking from Pirs

July 16, 2016    Dragon SpX-9 Launch atop Falcon 9

July 17, 2016    Progress MS-03 Launch atop Soyuz 2-1A & Docking to Pirs
July 18, 2016    Dragon SpX-9 Rendezvous, Capture & Berthing to Harmony
July 19, 2016    Progress MS-03 Docking to Pirs
Aug 16    U.S. EVA-36 – IDA-2 Installation

http://spaceflight101.com/iss/iss-calendar/

 

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Expedition 48 Begins and Awaits Three New Crew Members

 

blog_nhq201606180003.jpg

The Expedition 47 crew members rest outside shortly after landing in Kazakhstan. Seated from left to right, and in their Sokol suits, are European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake, cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and NASA astronaut Tim Kopra.

 

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Expedition 48 officially began Saturday morning with Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineers Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin continuing their stay aboard the International Space Station. They await the addition of three new crew members who will launch July 6 for a two-day ride to their new home in space.

 

Expedition 47 completed 186 days in space Saturday after landing in Kazakhstan. NASA astronaut Tim Kopra returned home to Houston the following day. European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake flew to Cologne, Germany, to begin his reconditioning. Cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko returned to Russia after completing his sixth mission to space.

 

Despite the weekend’s landing activities, science continues around the clock on the orbital laboratory. The crew is exploring how living in space affects the immune system and collected and stowed biological samples today for the Multi-Omics study. The crew is also setting up hardware for the NeuroMapping experiment. That study will research how spaceflight changes an astronaut’s brain and associated activities such as function, motor control, and multi-tasking abilities.

 

The next crew launch to the space station includes cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi. They will join Expedition 48 when their Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft docks to the Rassvet module July 8.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/06/20/expedition-48-begins-and-awaits-three-new-crew-members/

 

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Photos: Soyuz Lands in Kazakh Steppe with three-man Station Crew

 

4280729552-768x512.jpg

Roscosmos

 

 

3947267782-768x546.jpg

Roscosmos

 

 

3963341132-768x509.jpg

Roscosmos

 

 

27132492714_83950a440b_o-1-768x511.jpg

NASA/Bill Ingalls

 

Landing_of_the_Soyuz_TMA-19M_spacecraft8

ESA/Stephane Corvaja

 

Tim_Peake_in_a_recovery_helicopter_short

ESA/Stephane Corvaja

 

more images at the link...

http://spaceflight101.com/photos-soyuz-lands-in-kazakh-steppe-with-three-man-station-crew/

 

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NASA Glenn Ignites Largest Fire Experiment in Space

 

Quote

"The first of our planned three Saffire experiments operated as designed which is a great credit to all the people at NASA who played a role in its development," said Gary A. Ruff, NASA's Spacecraft Fire Safety Demonstration Project manager.

 

"The success of this experiment opens the door to future large combustion experiments in the microgravity environment and directly supports the development of technologies and materials that will make deep space exploration spacecraft safer."

 

Quote

Two subsequent flight experiments consist of Saffire-II, which will assess oxygen flammability limits using samples that are 2 inches wide and 12 inches long; and Saffire-III, which will assess a second large-scale microgravity fire. Each module will be flown aboard an Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo vehicle during a resupply mission to the space station.

 

The Spacecraft Fire Safety Demonstration Project that developed the Saffire flight systems is sponsored by the Advanced Exploration Systems Division in NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.

 

The three Saffire units used components manufactured in facilities at Glenn, NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston and White Sands Test Facility in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Three additional experiment modules will be designed and built by engineers at Glenn and launched in Orbital ATK cargo vehicles beginning in 2018.

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/NASA_Glenn_Ignites_Largest_Fire_Experiment_in_Space_999.html

 

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House committee considers expanded NASA healthcare authority for astronauts 

 

Quote

LANCASTER, Calif. — Doctors and astronauts told a House panel June 15 that they support proposals that would authorize NASA to provide improved health care for former astronauts.

 

Witnesses told the House Science Committee’s space subcommittee that giving NASA more responsibility for the health care of former astronauts would both ensure those people receive better treatment for the long-term effects of spaceflight as well as expand the agency’s knowledge about those effects.

 

“The question should not be whether we provide these services to our astronauts, but rather how to do it in a way that best addresses the current and future needs of our space explorers,” said Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the full committee.

 

Proposals under consideration by the committee would have NASA provide health care directly to former astronauts for their rest of their lives. Currently, NASA provides optional annual health screenings for former astronauts, but any additional treatment is handled through programs administered by the Department of Labor and Department of Veteran Affairs.

 

Quote

Both Republican and Democratic members of the committee appeared to support giving NASA the authority to provide additional healthcare and monitoring services. One issue raised by some members, including space subcommittee chairman Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas), was the additional cost of that monitoring, citing one study that estimated annual healthcare costs for astronauts and their families could be as high as $6.5 million. 

 

Jeffrey Kahn, a bioethicist, argued that NASA had a responsibility to take care of the health of astronauts. “Employers who knowingly expose employees to risk have an ethical responsibility to provide protection to the extent possible and to address the harms that occur when protections fail or turn out to be inadequate,” he said. 

http://spacenews.com/house-committee-considers-expanded-nasa-healthcare-authority-for-astronauts/

 

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From Magnetic Levitation to Frozen Wax, Cargo Spacecraft to Carry Wide Range of Investigations

 

Quote

SpaceX is targeting the launch of its Dragon spacecraft from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in the early morning hours of July 16, marking the company’s ninth Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-9) flight for NASA. Dragon will deliver nearly 4,900 pounds of cargo, crew supplies, and research experiments to the International Space Station.

 

These experiments include testing capabilities for sequencing DNA in space, regulating temperatures aboard spacecraft, understanding bone loss, and tracking ships around the world. Other investigations study how to protect computers from radiation in space and test an efficient, three-dimensional solar cell.

Full description here...

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/news/crs9_cargo

 

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Shrimp Ponds, Mexico 2016-06-18

 

shrimp-ponds-full.jpg

Credit Planet

 

Quote

Rows and rows of artificial shrimp ponds make up one of many large aquaculture farms along the Gulf of California’s Sonoran coastline.

https://www.planet.com/gallery/shrimp-ponds/

 

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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 20 June 2016

 

Quote

Despite the weekend's landing activities, science continues around the clock on the orbital laboratory. The crew is exploring how living in space affects the immune system and collected and stowed biological samples today for the Multi-Omics study. The crew is also setting up hardware for the NeuroMapping experiment. That study will research how spaceflight changes an astronaut's brain and associated activities such as function, motor control, and multi-tasking abilities.

 

The next crew launch to the space station includes cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi. They will join Expedition 48 when their Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft docks to the Rassvet module July 8.

 

Quote

Direct Current To Direct Current (DDCU) LA1A Trip: Last Thursday, DDCU LA1A tripped off due to a ~40 amp overcurrent. Parallel DDCU LA4A was already off for Battery 4A conditioning. A Failure Investigation Team (FIT) recommended the crew perform troubleshooting steps including rotation of the rack and visual inspection of the DDCUs, wire harnesses, and the Secondary Power Distribution Assembly (SPDA). The crew also performed multimeter measurements on both DDCU outputs on the face of the DDCU as well as on the output cable leading to downstream wiring for indications of a fault. Following the troubleshooting, another FIT was held and the recommendation was to R&R DDCU LA1A which the crew completed this morning. Both DDCUs and Pressurized Mating Adapter (PMA)2 shell heaters were powered on and are operating nominally. CEVIS has been reinstalled. Ground teams have recovered most affected loads with a few remaining items to be repowered tonight.

 

Multi-Omics Operations: The crew supported the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Multi-Omics investigation by collecting samples and inserting them in the Minus Eighty-degree Freezer for ISS (MELFI). The investigation evaluates the impacts of space environment and prebiotics on astronauts' immune function by combining the data obtained from the measurements of changes in the microbiological composition, metabolites profiles, and the immune system.

 

NeuroMapping Operations: The crew set up the hardware and performed this experiment, including testing in both a "strapped in" and "free floating" body configuration. The investigation studies whether long-duration spaceflight causes changes to the brain, including brain structure and function, motor control, and multi-tasking abilities. It also measures how long it takes for the brain and body to recover from changes. Previous research and anecdotal evidence from astronauts suggests movement control and cognition can be affected in microgravity. The NeuroMapping investigation performs structural and functional magnetic resonance brain imaging (MRI and fMRI) to assess changes that occur after spending an extended period on the ISS.

 

Ammonia Measurement Kit Chip Measurement System (CMS) Battery Changeout: The CMS draws a small amount of current even while inactive, therefore the batteries must be changed periodically to ensure the CMS will activate in an emergency. During this procedure the crew verified that the CMS would have activated using the installed batteries near end-of-life, then replaced them.

 

Quote

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
Nominal ground commanding

 

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Tuesday, 06/21: OBT 46S emergency drill, EVA EMU swap, JEMAL antivirus scan
Wednesday, 06/22: EMU 3005, 3008 water maintenance/loop scrub
Thursday, 06/23: Habitability, Microchannel Diffusion plate changeout

 

QUICK ISS Status - Environmental Control Group:
Component - Status
Elektron - On
Vozdukh - Manual
[СКВ] 1 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV1") - Off
[СКВ] 2 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV2") - On
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab - Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab - Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 - Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) - Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) - Norm
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab - Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 - Full Up

http://spaceref.com/international-space-station/nasa-international-space-station-on-orbit-status-20-june-2016.html

 

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Last Day in Space for Cygnus as Crew Practices Emergency

 

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The moon is pictured above Earth from the space station.

 

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A cargo ship that was released last week from the International Space Station will re-enter Earth’s atmosphere Wednesday. Back inside the orbital lab, the crew practiced emergency procedures after a light day of science and maintenance.

 

The Orbital ATK Cygnus space freighter is spending its last day in space today. Cygnus has been busy conducting an array science activities including a fire experiment and deploying nanosatellites. It will complete its last experiment Wednesday monitoring its own destruction when it deorbits into Earth’s atmosphere.

 

Aboard the space station, the three-member Expedition 48 crew practiced an emergency drill. In the unlikely event of an emergency such as a rapid depressurization, the crew would put on gas masks, head to its Soyuz spacecraft, put on their Sokol spacesuits and prepare for an undocking and descent back to Earth.

 

More saliva samples were collected today for the Multi-Omics study researching how an astronaut’s immune system is affected by a long-term spaceflight. The crew also explored heart health in space and analyzed water samples for microbes.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/06/21/last-day-in-space-for-cygnus-as-crew-practices-emergency/

 

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A Burial Plot for the International Space Station     ( a long time yet...don't worry)

 

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Sometime in the next 10 years or so, ISS will be deorbited into a remote area of the Earth's surface. Most experts expect that location will be the South Pacific Ocean. The specific area is well-known as the "Spacecraft Cemetery." This area, about 2,400 miles southeast of Wellington, New Zealand, is the final resting place for many decommissioned satellites, including the Mir Space Station and many trash-filled Progress Cargo Modules.

 

This location was selected because it is remote, off the normal shipping lanes and reachable by reentering spacecraft returning from high-inclination orbits. Since Mir and ISS were placed in orbits with inclinations of about 51.6 degrees their flight paths overfly the South Pacific. Thus, by proper timing of a de-orbit burn, these vehicles will passively reenter and reach the Earth's surface in the desired area.

 

If the ISS were abandoned and left to naturally de-orbit, the 1,000,000 pound spacecraft would eventually reenter the atmosphere, break up and scatter hundreds of pieces of debris with masses ranging from a few pounds to 100,000 pounds possibly into any of the many highly populated regions of the Earth. Thus, a controlled de-orbit is a matter of international public safety.

 

There are no islands in the area of the "cemetery," and the nearest shores are thousands of miles away. This, combined with the fact that ship traffic is light in this region, make it an ideal place for spacecraft to plunge back to Earth. In fact, the cemetery is near Point Nemo, the location which is furthest from any land mass, at 48.4 degrees south latitude and 123.4 degrees west longitude. The nearest land is 1,600 miles south - Antarctica.

 

A recent catalog of wrecked spacecraft fragments at the cemetery would list some 145 Russian Progress modules, four Japanese HTV cargo ships, five of ESA's Automated Transfer Vehicles, six Russian Salyut space stations and one Russian Mir space station. Expect many more residents to arrive over the next decade as the ISS completes its multi-decade mission.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/A_Burial_Plot_for_the_International_Space_Station_999.html

 

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Chaco Boreal, Paraguay 2016-06-17

 

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credit Planet

 

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Enormous swaths of dry forest in Paraguay’s sparsely populated Chaco Boreal region have been cleared for cattle ranching.

https://www.planet.com/gallery/chaco-boreal/

 

:)

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Unobscured Vision

So they're still dead-set on deorbiting the still-useful components of the ISS in 2025, rather than gathering valuable experience and performing an in-situ rehab and refurb ... [expletive descriptive] waste. :angry:

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Arachno 1D

Is it a funding or political issue thats causing the deorbits?

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Unobscured Vision

More like a contest of whom can project a stream of mostly-clear, liquid waste product along the largest 1g parabolic trajectory .. mostly from certain Western-Hemisphere, Government-Based Bureaucratic Committee responsible for funding said Station.

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Jim K
9 minutes ago, Unobscured Vision said:

So they're still dead-set on deorbiting the still-useful components of the ISS in 2025, rather than gathering valuable experience and performing an in-situ rehab and refurb ... [expletive descriptive] waste. :angry:

Well, hopefully during the next 9 years or so ... all the parties involved with the ISS (if it is still in good condition) will be like ....

 

"Whoa whoa ... wait a second ... we're going to do what?  We're going to deorbit this $150 billion dollar space station?  That'd be stupid!"

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DocM

Is a situation where so many things need so much maintenance so often it's easier to replace it. It's also starting to smell like a B-52 with 3 generations of sweat on the seats, which aint good.

 

NASA's plan is to let commercial outfits do LEO stations and move outward, one serious proposal being a cis-lunar space station.

 

NASA is already writing the RFP and requirements for commercial transport and fuel depot services there.

 

Of course this doesn't take into.account what BFS, a high capacity "shuttle" with huge prop and cargo stores, could mean in LEO and cis-lunar space. 

Edited by DocM
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Unobscured Vision

True, but there's still a lot that can be done there. And a refit/refurb/build project in microgravity is something that we're gonna have to get experience with if we plan to move out into the Solar System. The experience would be invaluable. We sort out procedures now, it'll save on headaches, lack of procedures, and even injuries & potentially deaths later on. I'd consider a refurb and rehab project on the ISS an opportunity. :yes: 

 

Even if it smells of old socks and 40's-era toilet stalls. Bring some ionic air scrubbers and some swiffer pads. :) I'd be happy to go clean the place ahead of time, if NASA needs. Not sure Putin would want a Trans Person on the ISS, though ... we know how he is about anyone "different".

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Arachno 1D

Yep at some point NASA et all is going to have to tackle the issue of how to cleanse such deep space based systems.After all we cant keep sending habitats to say Mars every five years just because it smells bad.

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Unobscured Vision

You'd be surprised how much of an impact a "bad smell" will make on morale. No, it needs to be addressed by not being there. Ionic Air Purifier/Scrubber will help, but it's only part of the solution. Chemical air fresheners (Glade plug-ins, for example) will stress O2 Regeneration gear, so we can't use those. There's got to be a solution ...

 

/thinks

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